- Women were recruiting for militant group, government says
- This effort involved finding women for marriage
- Boko Haram blamed for recurring violence in Nigeria
Authorities have arrested three women who have been secretly recruiting members for the female wing of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, Nigeria's Defense Ministry said Friday.
"The arrested trio suspects were luring ladies, especially widows and young girls, by enticing them with male suitors who are mainly members of their terror group, for marriage," said Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, director of defense information.
"Before their arrest, they were on a mission to take additional briefing from the leadership of the terror group," said Nwachukwu.
The suspects, identified as Hafsat Usman Bako, Zainab Idris and Aisha Abubakar, were arrested while traveling to the town of Madagali.
Officials say one of the women, Hafsat Bako, was married to a member of the terrorist group who was killed by the military. "Hafsat continued with the terror group, specializing in surreptitious recruitment of members into their fold," said the ministry.
The arrests were made after a recent suicide bombing attempt on a military facility in the state of Gombe, carried out by a female suspect who blew herself up.
Boko Haram has been terrorizing Nigeria's Borno state in recent years and thousands have fled the violence. In April, the terrorist group abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok. The girls are still missing.