On Sunday 11th of September 2016 at approximately 1000hrs EAT, Tasnim Yakub Abdullahi Fara & Fatuma Omar and another jihadist identified as Mariam, all inspired by Al-Muhajiroun, an affiliate of the Al-Qaeda branch in Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabaab Mujahideen attempted to kill police officers and bomb a police station in Mombasa. All 3 attackers were neutralized quickly though they injured 2 police officers and burnt the report office at the station.
In the history of terrorism world-wide, the 1st female Islamist suicide bomber was a 17 year old Lebanese girl named Sanaa Mehaydali who was deployed by the Syrian Socialist National Party (SSNP), a secular pro-Syrian Lebanese organization to blow herself up near an Israeli army convoy in Lebanon in 1985. Mehaydali blew herself up killing 5 Israeli soldiers. It is interesting to contrast these events with what happened in Mombasa. 3 Female jihadists died attempting to kill Kenyan police officers besides petrol bombing the police station.
What was the exact strategy of the 3 female suicide attackers? All wore bullet proof vests, had no guns or suicide bombs. If their objective was to use Molotov cocktails to burn the police station, then it was plain thoughtless. However, it is the act of lighting herself up using the petrol that is most notable. Another notable is the choice of target. It is placed in the heart of the tourist’s city of Mombasa. Both notables are indicators of possible female insurgents becoming the choice weapons for Al-Qaeda affiliate’s strategists and terror attack planners.
It is no coincidence that female jihadists struck Mombasa a week after Al-Muhajiroun beseeched women to participate in Jihad. While the network of these jihadists is under surveillance by the intelligence service in Kenya, the role of Al-Muhajiroun in inspiring jihadists to conduct attacks against targets requires investigation. Al-Muhajiroun operatives in Tanzania have killed police officers and attacked police stations. The recent past events in Tanzania correspond with the Mombasa Police Station terror attack in Kenya on Sunday.
Female Islamist suicide bomber in the botched Mombasa suicide terrorists attack
Intelligence by SIS shows Tanzania & Kenya based Al-Muhajiroun jihadists in past weeks beseeched female adherents to support jihad. While terrorism is generally a strategy to accomplish a specific objective; correspondingly, religiously motivated terrorism, women participation in violent movements, specifically Islamist, is viewed as pervasive. However, Islamic States has changed this ubiquitous aspect of female jihadists by recruiting and deploying a significant number of them. In East Africa, Al-Qaeda branch in Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabaab Mujahideen ‘s Al-Muhajiroun is likely to take credit for it’s Muhajirah 1st stab in Jihad.
The botched Mombasa suicide terrorists attack was the first evidence of female jihadist participation in violent acts in East Africa. The police response was remarkable though. All 3 were effectively neutralized before they could further cause harm and damage. It is a sign of a proactive police force and one that is arguably ready to preempt violence conducted by jihadists.