Three young women heading to Iraq and Syria via the Kenya-Somalia border to become ‘jihadist brides’ have been arrested by Kenyan military officers.
The arrest of the three women thwarted an ambitious attempt by the trio to join extremists, but also raised fear among residents, with families of the women reported to be too traumatised by the event to speak. Two families in Malindi acknowledged that their three daughters had gone missing for days and said they had been informed they were arrested in Wajir on Friday. The families released a statement through human rights group Haki Africa, indicating that the three women had been arrested. Three young women have been arrested by military personnel in Wajir while allegedly trying to sneak into Somalia to become ‘jihadist brides’ and suicide bombers. At least two of the women are believed to have been students in university campuses in Mombasa while the third, said to be Tanzanian, is said to have secured a scholarship to study at Khartoum’s International University in Sudan.
The suspects are now being held in police stations in Mombasa.
Although authorities in Mombasa say only three women were arrested, some accounts claim up to six women were arrested by anti-terrorism police while trying to enter Somalia from Wajir. It is believed they wanted to join Somalia’s terrorist group Al-Shabaab and later head to Iraq and Syria through Turkey from Mogadishu. On Sunday, Mombasa county commissioner Nelson Marwa identified the Tanzanian suspect as Ummul Khayr Sadir Abdullah from Zanzibar. He said she is a 19-year-old Medicine student. Marwa said last evening the three women were recruited through social media to become “jihadist brides” and suicide bombers and were to be picked in Mandera by an unnamed contact. “They were arrested trying to enter Somalia through El Wak,” said Marwa who also identified the Kenyans as Khadija Abubakar and Mariam Saad. Both are both 21 years old. Marwa said the Tanzanian confessed to interrogators that she was recruited by a Mr Abdalla Zubeir who allegedly contacted her via a cell phone from Somalia.
Source: Standard Digital
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