A court in Mombasa on Wednesday charged four women, among them a Tanzanian, with being members of the Somalia Islamist militant group, al shabaab, blamed for a series of attacks on Kenyan soil.
Three of the women, Ummulkheir Sadri Abdalla from Tanzania, Khadija Abubakar Abdulkadir and Maryam Said Aboud, who sections of the local media had described as the ‘al shabaab brides’, were arrested in Mandera along the Kenyan border with Somalia in March.
Police alleged the three were attempting to cross over into Somalia to be married to al shabaab militants.
A fourth woman, Halima Adan Ali, faced similar charges separately, after she was arrested in Machakos county on April 3.
“On the 27th March 2015 at Elwak, Kenya Somalia border within Mandera county, knowingly engaged in criminal activity by being a member of terrorist group namely Al shabaab,” the charge sheet against the three, read.
All the four denied charges and the court was scheduled to rule on their request to be released on bond.
On Monday four men, among them a local politician, were charged in a Lamu court over recruitment of youth in to the al shabaab.
The militants killed 148 people last month when they attacked a university in Garissa, the worst attack since the 1998 US embassy bombing in Nairobi.
The militants want Kenya to pull its troops out of Somalia where they are fighting the insurgents within the the African Union forces, AMISOM.
Kenya has said the troops will remain there, and on Tuesday the government got fresh backing from the US after secretary of state John Kerry, said there was no point of withdrawing troops from Somalia.