Kenya: Wanted UK woman in terror cell

2012-03-01 22:32

Nairobi - Kenyan police are hunting for a British woman who has been using the identity of the widow of one of the suicide bombers who attacked London's transport system, an official said on Thursday.

Police suspect that she is fund raising for a terrorist group, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to release the information.

The suspect has been using a number of identities, including those of Samantha Lewthwaite and Natalie Faye Webb, the official said.

Lewthwaite is the widow of Jermaine Lindsay, one of the suicide bombers who killed 52 commuters in multiple bombings of London's transport system on July 7 2005. British newspapers report that Faye Webb is the victim of identity theft.

The official said he cannot confirm if the woman is Lewthwaite herself. Police are working closely with Scotland Yard on the case, he said.

Lewthwaite's father, a builder from the town of Aylesbury near London, said that he and the wider family had not heard "for some time" from his daughter.

"I just wish she would get in touch with us," Andy Lewthwaite, 57, told The Sun newspaper. "Samantha would not be involved in anything to do with terrorism. She was badly affected by what happened before and would have nothing to do with it. I am sure of that."

The police official said the woman is suspected to be part of a cell that had been planning to bomb the Kenyan coast in December in retaliation for the Kenyan military incursion into Somalia.

Bombing attempt

Kenya sent troops across the border in October after a series of attacks by Somali gunmen on Kenyan soil. The Kenyan government blamed the attacks on the al-Qaeda-affiliated Somali militant group al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab threatened to carry out suicide bombings in retaliation, although it has not done so thus far. But Kenya has been hit by a number of grenade and small arms attacks.

Police said recently they suspect the killings of over 30 civilians in the past five months were orchestrated by al-Shabaab or its sympathisers.

In January, Kenya police announced that they had thwarted a major terror attack by al-Shabaab over the Christmas holiday. On the same day, Britain warned its citizens in Kenya to be extra vigilant because terrorists could be in the final stages of planning an attack.

The police official said they suspect the British woman is a member of the cell that was planning the attack.

Other members allegedly include a British man, Jermaine Grant, sentenced to three years in prison for immigration offenses and lying to a government official about his identity. Grant is also charged with conspiring to commit a felony and possessing explosive materials.

Prosecutors say Grant is linked to al-Shabaab but his lawyer Chacha Mwita dismissed the allegations and said his client has not told him anything about "a European woman".

The other suspected member of cell, according to the police official, is Aboud Rogo, an Islamic preacher who was arrested in January during a raid at his coastal home.

Outlawed

Police say they recovered a cache of guns, ammunition and detonators there but Rogo's family say police planted the weapons.

A court released Rogo on bail last week and his lawyer Mbugua Mureithi challenged the police to produce evidence linking his client to a terrorist cell. Mureithi said the allegations were part of "smear campaign" against his client.

"Police have a big opportunity to prove their accusations against my client in court," Mureithi said.

Rogo was acquitted on murder charges for the 2002 bombing of a tourist hotel which killed more than dozen people and attempt to shoot down an Israeli jetliner. He is also facing separate charges of being a member of al-Shabaab, which has been outlawed in Kenya.

So far al-Shabaab's biggest attack on foreign soil has been the July 2010 suicide attacks in Kampala, Uganda which killed 76 people watching the World Cup final. Al-Shabaab said the bombings were in retaliation for the presence of Ugandan troops in Somalia.

- AP

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  al-shabaab  |  kenya  |  uk  |  east africa  |  religion  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Numsa prepares for life after Cosatu

Numsa has not only reiterated its call for President Jacob Zuma to resign but it is also preparing for life outside of Cosatu, a report states.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.