Interpol issues alert for ‘White Widow’ sought in Kenya

Smoke rises from the Westgate shopping centre after explosions at the mall in Nairobi

Interpol issued a wanted persons alert at Kenya’s request on Thursday for Samantha Lewthwaite, a British citizen dubbed the “White Widow”, without mentioning her suspected role in the Nairobi mall attack.

The international police agency’s so-called “red alert” notice said Lewthwaite, 29, is wanted by Kenya on charges of possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011.

Lewthwaite, also believed to use the alias ‘Natalie Webb’, is the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of the Islamist bombers who carried out attacks on public transport in London in July 2005, and is thought to have left Britain several years ago.

South African Interior Minister Naledi Pandor told a news conference in Pretoria on Thursday that Lewthwaite had entered South Africa in July 2008 with an illegal passport, which she last used in February 2011.

She is wanted in connection with an alleged plot to attack luxury hotels and restaurants in Kenya.

British police have cited Lewthwaite as a possible suspect in last week’s siege of a Nairobi shopping mall by Islamists from Somalia’s al Shabaab movement.

Some witnesses said that women were among the attackers in the four-day mall attack, which killed at least 72 people. But al Shabaab denied on its Twitter feed using “our sisters” in its military operations.

An Interpol spokesman declined to say when Kenya lodged its request for the alert.

“Through the Interpol Red Notice, Kenyan authorities have ensured that all 190 member countries are aware of the danger posed by this woman, not just across the region but also worldwide,” Interpol Secretary Ronald Noble said in a statement.

SEARCH FOR SUSPECTS

In Nairobi, experts from U.S., British, Israeli and other agencies have joined Kenyan officers investigating the Westgate mall attack. Police are also Ptracking four suspected militants in Kenya’s coastal tourist region.

The high-impact attack has highlighted the reach of al Shabaab beyond Somalia, where Kenyan troops have joined other African forces, driving the group out of major urban areas, although it still controls swathes of the countryside.

“We have four suspects within Mombasa who we are closely watching. They came back to the country after training in Somalia,” Robert Kitur, county police commander in the port city and beach tourist hub, told Reuters.

Western nations have long feared turmoil in Somalia was providing a training ground for militants. Kenya sent its troops into its northern neighbor in 2011 to fight the group it blamed for attacks along the border and kidnappings on the coast.

Highlighting the lawless nature of Kenya’s northern region near Somalia, two policemen were killed on Thursday in an assault on a administrative post in that region. Al Shabaab said its fighters carried out this latest raid.

Part of the Westgate mall collapsed in the four-day siege that followed Saturday’s attack, burying some bodies and hindering investigations, although forensic experts have started work even as the army continues to comb the building for explosives.

“The army are still in there with the forensic teams,” said one senior police officer near the mall that was crowded during lunchtime on Saturday when attackers armed with assault rifles and grenades stormed in.

Officials say the death toll of 61 civilians, six members of the security forces and five militants is unlikely to rise much further, although some bodies of the attackers may be buried.

However, the Red Cross has said there were still 71 people listed as missing.

Several details of the attack remain uncertain: the final death toll, the identities of attackers, how many there were – officials indicate about a dozen – and how they staged such a sophisticated raid that lasted so long.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

Philadelphia principal has President Obama's ear

The West Philadelphia head is gathering ideas to present to the White House.

Local

Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

Movies

Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Eagles will spend Thanksgiving in Dallas, play four…

The Eagles have an impressive, challenging and exciting schedule in 2014.

NFL

NFL releases Eagles 2014 schedule

The Eagles have four primetime games, face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and host the Seahawks in a dynamic, challenging and impressive schedule.

NHL

All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."