On Tuesday a woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers was arrested, the Iraqi military said.
The woman, identified as Samira Ahmed Jassim or by her nickname Umm al-Mu'mineen – meaning the mother of believers – confessed in a video played for reporters at a press conference in Baghdad, the Associated Press reported.
Jassim, dressed in an all-encompassing black Islamic robe, described how she would persuade the women to be bombers, then escort them to an orchard for insurgent training and finally pick them up and lead them to their targets.
She said she was acting on behalf of insurgents based in the volatile Diyala province, north of Baghdad.
According to Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, the suspect had recruited more than 80 women willing to carry out attacks and had admitted masterminding 28 bombings in different areas.
Despite the decline in violence, the number of bombings carried out by women has increased.
The use of female suicide bombers is part of a shift in insurgent tactics to avoid detection at U.S.-Iraqi military checkpoints that have become ubiquitous in Iraq as part of increased security measures.
Iraqi women often are allowed to pass through male-guarded checkpoints without being searched, and they traditionally wear flowing black robes that make it easier to hide explosives belts.
To counter the threat, the U.S. military has stepped up efforts to recruit women for the Iraqi security forces.