Four women have been charged with being members of the terrorist group.
Three of them were arrested while allegedly travelling to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab.
Ms Ummulkheir Sadri Abdalla, Ms Khadija Abubakar Abdulkadir, Ms Maryam Said Aboud and Ms Halima Adan Ali denied the charges in a Mombasa court yesterday.
The prosecution accused them of criminal activity by being members of the terrorist group.
Ms Abdalla, Ms Abdulkadir and Ms Aboud are alleged to have committed the offence on March 27 at Elwak on the Kenya-Somalia border did so on April 3 at Kyumvi in Machakos County.
The women have been in police custody and asked to be released on bond. However, prosecutor Eugene Wangila said the suspects were a flight risk.
Mr Wangila told Mombasa Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo that there were several cases in courts where suspects facing similar charges were released on bond but fled.
“I urge the court to take notice that terrorism is a thorn in (the flesh of) our republic.” The offences had caused anguish to Kenyans, he said.
He noted that the women’s accomplices were still at large.
He said it had been alleged that the suspects had links extending as far as Syria and Sudan, which are steeped in instability.
Defence lawyers Hamisi Mwadzogo and Chacha Mwita asked to be supplied with witness statements and any documentary evidence the prosecution intended to us.
Mr Mwita also urged the court to grant lenient bond terms while considering that the suspects had been in custody for more than 30 days.
On April 21, a magistrate granted a request to have Ms Abdulkadir, Ms Aboud and Ms Abdulla to continue being held in custody to allow police to complete investigations.
Senior Resident Magistrate Irene Ruguru granted the request and said that the law on the prevention of terrorism allows a pre-charge detention of up to 90 days.
The case is expected to be mentioned today when the defence will respond to issues raised by the prosecution in opposing the request for bond, after which the court will decide whether to grant bail or not.