The three women who launched an attack Sunday at a police station in eastern Kenya were fighters with the Islamic State group, according to a new report from a terror watchdog organization. The women were ultimately shot and killed, but not before they stabbed one officer and fire bombed the police station, Reuters reported.
If true, Sunday's attack against law enforcement in the city of Mombasa would be the latest instance of female ISIS fighters launching attacks in Africa in an apparent new strategy that began earlier this year.
"While being questioned by officers, one drew a knife and the other threw a petrol bomb at the police officers," Mombasa County Police Commander Patterson Maelo said to the media. "The station caught fire. Police shot the three and killed them. Two officers are in hospital with wounds. Presumably it is a terror attack."
Before ISIS claimed the attack as its own, local authorities speculated the apparent act of terror was from al Shabab, an al Qaeda affiliate which first claimed responsibility for the siege. Al Shabab has launched various deadly terror attacks in neighboring Somalia since 2012.
With an international military coalition targeting ISIS around the globe, the terror group is likely trying to come up with new and improved ways of launching its terror attacks. It first tried using women as suicide bombers in Libya in February, the Independent reported.
In particular, ISIS is recruiting women who have been widowed after their husbands — who were also in the militant group — were killed, according to 9News in Australia, where recruitment of women has reportedly been underway for more than a year.
France has also recently become fertile recruiting ground for potential female ISIS soldiers, according to a new report from the Daily Beast. "In the last few days and hours, a terrorist cell was dismantled, composed of young women totally receptive to the deadly Daesh ideology," Paris prosecutor François Molins said Friday while using another term for ISIS. "The terrorist organization uses not only women, but young women, who get to know each other and develop their plot from a distance."