Although al-Shabaab is mainly based in Somalia, the terrorist group operates in various East African nations.
Local security officers talking on condition of anonymity told the Star in Kenya, “The women seek sexual relationships with them with the aim of getting their secrets.”
Joseph Kanyiri, a top local security official, said that al-Shabaab had employed a similar strategy in the past, using women as spies.
“Last year, we arrested two women in Kiunga, who were spying for the terror group,” said Kanyiri.
According to the U.S. Department of State, there are currently “several thousand” jihadists fighting on behalf of al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab is considered to be one of the deadliest and prolific terrorist groups in the world.
In 2016, the Somalia-based group abducted 375 people and carried out 332 attacks, killing 741 people and wounding 921 injured, reported DOS.
The al-Qaeda-linked group has been known to threaten the United States.
In March, al-Shabaab released a propaganda video which condemned the United States as the “satan of our time.”
The jihadists urge all Islam adherents to “fulfill the obligation of jihad” and remove the “global coalition of disbelievers” that includes America and other Western countries from Muslim lands.
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. military to boost airstrikes against the Somali group, causing the jihadist organization to threaten attacks against U.S. interests.
The American military has been giving assistance to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), equipping and training the local troops.
American Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, who is the top U.S. commander in the region, told lawmakers in March:
Our advise, assist, and accompany efforts, paired with our deliberate targeting of top-level al-Shabaab leadership, have had a significant impact in degrading al-Shabaab’s effectiveness in East Africa, but those two efforts are not enduring solutions to Somalia’s problems.
The AMISOM coalition includes Somalia, Burundi, Uganda, Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Some U.S. troops have died fighting in Somalia.
Although al-Shabaab is the most powerful terrorist group in Somalia, ISIS is “growing significantly in strength,” reaching up to 200 terrorists this year, the United Nations reported.