Interpol has issued a wanted persons notice for Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, known as the “White Widow”, at Kenya’s request.
Samantha Lewthwaite, 29, is the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of the four suicide bombers who attacked London on July 7th, 2005.
She has been linked with Somali militant Islamist group al-Shabab.
Interpol did not link the warrant to Nairobi’s Westgate mall attack that left at least 67 dead.
However, it comes after much speculation linking Samantha Lewthwaite to events there.
Al-Shabab was behind the attack and subsequent four-day siege at the Westgate shopping complex in the Kenyan capital.
An Interpol statement said Samantha Lewthwaite was “wanted by Kenya on charges of being in possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011”.
The Interpol alert, known as a “Red Notice”, requires member countries to detain the suspect pending extradition procedures.
Interpol has issued a wanted persons notice for Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, known as the “White Widow”, at Kenya’s request
Samantha Lewthwaite – who is believed to use the alias “Natalie Webb” – had previously only been wanted for the alleged possession of a fraudulently obtained South African passport.
She is the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of the four bombers involved in the July 7 terror attacks in London in 2005 in which 52 people were killed and hundreds more injured.
Interpol’s red notice acts like a global wanted poster, but it’s also a concession by the Kenyan security forces that she is an international danger, not just someone who should be regarded as a passport fraudster.
Kenya is continuing three days of official mourning for the civilian and military victims of the siege.
The funeral of pregnant television and radio star Ruhila Adatia-Sood was one of many being held on Thursday.
Flags are flying at half mast amid visibly tighter security around the Kenyan capital. Security guards were scanning passengers with metal detectors before they boarded buses.
Kenyan investigators have been joined by experts from the US, UK, Germany, Canada and Interpol to comb the sprawling shopping complex for DNA, fingerprints and ballistic clues.
Somali Islamist group al-Shabab has said it had carried out the attack in retaliation for Kenyan army operations in Somalia.
The militants stormed the Westgate centre on Saturday, throwing grenades and firing indiscriminately at shoppers and staff.
Twitter posts on an al-Shabab account said the group’s militants had held 137 people hostage, and claimed the hostages had died after security forces fired chemical agents to end the siege.
A government spokesman denied any chemical agents were used, and authorities called on Kenyans to ignore militant propaganda.
Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has repeatedly threatened attacks on Kenyan soil if Nairobi did not pull its troops out of Somalia.
About 4,000 Kenyan troops have been serving in the south of Somalia since October 2011 as part of an African Union force supporting Somali government forces.
The group is banned as a terrorist group by both the US and the UK and is believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters.
Al-Shabab members are fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that the four-day siege involving suspected Islamist militants at Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre is over.
Five attackers were shot dead by troops and 11 suspects were in custody, he said in a TV address to the nation.
Kenya has “shamed and defeated our attackers” but the “losses are immense”, Uhuru Kenyatta said, confirming that 61 civilians and six soldiers had died.
Three days of national mourning have been declared, starting on Wednesday.
Uhuru Kenyatta said that several bodies – including those of “terrorists” – were thought to be trapped under rubble after three floors of the building collapsed following a blaze on Monday.
Some 175 people were injured in the attack; 62 people remain in hospital and many others are being treated for shock and are undergoing counseling.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that the four-day siege involving suspected Islamist militants at Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre is over
“I promise that we shall have a full accountability for the mindless destruction, deaths, pain, loss and suffering we have all undergone as a national family.
“These cowards will meet justice, as will their accomplices and patrons, wherever they are,” he said.
At least 18 foreigners are among the dead, citizens from France, UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Peru, India, Ghana, South Africa and China.
The militants stormed the Westgate centre on Saturday, throwing grenades and firing on shoppers and staff.
Somali Islamist group al-Shabab said it had carried out the attack in retaliation for Kenyan army operations in Somalia.
Uhuru Kenyatta said he could not confirm reports that a British national and two or three US citizens were involved in the attacks, but he said forensic experts were carrying out tests to ascertain their nationalities.
In an interview with the US TV programme PBS Newshour, Kenya’s Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said the Americans were 18 or 19 years old, of Somali or Arab origin.
Her remarks have fuelled media speculation about the possible involvement of Samantha Lewthwaite, the widow of one of the men who carried out attacks on London’s transport system on July 7th, 2005.
However, a Twitter post from al-Shabab on Tuesday evening dismissed claims that women were involved in the attack. The group said it “categorically” denied involvement of any woman”.
A dead white woman has been identified among Islamic terrorists killed by soldiers as they stormed Nairobi’s Westgate mall where 62 shoppers were shot dead this weekend, Kenyan officials said.
The claim, made by three sources to news agency Reuters, will fuel speculation that the dead woman is Samantha Lewthwaite, the widow of 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay, who is wanted by Kenyan police on a string of terror charges. Police will also investigate the possibility that she is a hostage dressed in one of the terrorist’s clothes.
Asked if it was Samantha Lewthwaite, dubbed the “White Widow”, an intelligence officer said: “We don’t know.”
Moments after the news broke, al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda affiliated terror group behind the massacre at Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Centre, used their Twitter feed to claim that Samantha Lewthwaite was safe.
There were conflicting reports about the identity of the attackers. Al-Shabaab claimed on Twitter last night that the group was being led by Samantha Lewthwaite, who was married to Jermaine Lindsay, one of the 7/7 suicide bombers.
Known as the White Widow, Samantha Lewthwaite is wanted by Kenyan police over links to a suspected terrorist cell planning bomb attacks.
Known as the White Widow, Samantha Lewthwaite is wanted by Kenyan police over links to a suspected terrorist cell planning bomb attacks
A link between Samantha Lewthwaite and the Westgate attack was made after soldiers claimed they had seen a white woman in a veil shouting orders to gunman in Arabic.
Samantha Lewthwaite converted to Islam as a young woman and married Jermaine Lindsay who went on to be a 7/7 London suicide bomber. She has become a key figure in the terror group behind this weekend’s attack.
She has even been involved in training a group of all-female suicide attackers at camps in lawless neighboring the 29-year-old, who grew up as a normal teenager in Aylesbury before meeting Jermaine Lindsay, a British Muslim, in an online chat room when she was 17. The pair married three years later.
When Jermaine Lindsay was named as one of four suicide bombers who blew up Tube trains and a bus in 2005, killing 52 people, Samantha Lewthwaite initially condemned her late husband’s attack and denied any knowledge of his plan. This was a lie.
More than eight years later, Samantha Lewthwaite is one of al-Qaeda’s main recruiters in East Africa and is an official spokesperson for al-Shabaab (The People), the terrorist group behind the horror in Nairobi.
Samantha Lewthwaite, who is the world’s most wanted woman, has been on the run in East Africa after police foiled a Christmas bomb plot against Western tourists in the coastal resort of Mombasa in 2011.