The Al-Shabaab militia has not just been radicalizing and recruiting young men at the coast, but has also been abducting women to serve as their sex slaves as revealed in an article by the BBC.
The women are reportedly lured through promises of jobs in different towns at the coast or abroad and are drugged along the way and transported through the Boni forest in Lamu County, which has been a hideout for the militia.
“When we regained consciousness, there were two men inside the room,” a victim told the BBC.
“They blindfolded us with black scarves. They raped us in that room.” she said.
According to the BBC, the Al-Shabaab are out to breed the next generation of fighters hence holding women in captivity so that they can give birth is part of their agenda.
“In my camp, there [were] women who are sent to come and recruit other women. They want to multiply so they just want women to give birth.” the BBC reports.
“Al shababes”: Al-Shabaab seemingly also has consensual consorts
Some women have, in contrast, been willingly joining the Al-Shabaab militia.
The female members or ‘Al shababes’ as they are locally referred to are used in suicide bombings and collecting information at government controlled areas while others serve as jihadi brides.
In 2015, the police arrested three female university students (two Kenyans and one Tanzanian) at Elwak town on the Kenya-Somali border as they attempted to sneak to Somalia to join the Islamic militia.
According to Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa , the three; Ummu-l-Khayr Sadir Abdulla, 19, Maryam Said Aboud, 20, and Khadija Abubakar Abdulkadir were to meet their contact person who was to facilitate their movement into Somali.
“They were to join the Al-Shabaab group to become suicide bombers and jihadists, according to police,” said Marwa.
Marwa said the three were lured to join Al-Shabaab through social media and added the police were pursuing the financiers who are targeting mainly students.
In September last year, three armed women were gunned down by the police after they attacked Mombasa’s Central Police Station.