MOMBASA, Kenya — Kenyan authorities confirmed on Sunday they are holding three women suspected to be suicide bombers in the coastal city of Mombasa.
Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa said the three were arrested in Elwak town on the Kenya-Somalia border as they attempted to sneak into Somalia to join Al-Qaida allied Somalia militants.
“They boarded a bus from Mombasa and were to travel to Somalia via Mandera while in Somalia they were to become jihadist brides while others were supposed to be trained as suicide bombers,” Marwa told journalists in Mombasa.
Marwa said the three suspects are two Kenyan and one Tanzania and all are university students below 21 years old.
The three, 19-year-old Ummul-Khayr Sadir Abdull from Zanzibar who is believed to be the team leader, Maryam Said Aboud and Khadija Abubakar Abdulkadir, will be arraigned in court on Monday.
According to police sources, the three were lured to join the Al-Shabaab terror group through the social media.
Marwa said they are pursuing the main financiers of terrorism activities targeting mainly youth who end up joining the Al- Shabaab group to carry out more attacks in the country.
Senior anti-terror police officer said they are on higher alert over possible grenade and gun attacks in the coastal city.
Western nations have issued travel advisories to their nationals to avoid traveling in some parts of the coastal region and some parts of Nairobi and northern region near the border with Somalia.
The security forces said Al-Shabaab members who include Kenyans from Mombasa, Lamu, Kwale and Malindi are now back following the defeat of the group by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
The militants are believed to behind Wednesday’s murder of Criminal Investigation officer Mohamed Ibrahim Khamis in Old town. At least 56 youth have been arrested following the killing of the officer. There are also intelligence reports that Somalia militants Al- Shabaab returnees who have sneaked into the country from Somalia are planning attacks to avenge the killing of the group’s external operations leader Aden Garar.