Kenya police dismiss report of 'White Widow' sighting

2014-06-03 22:32
Samantha Lewthwaite (Picture: AFP)

Samantha Lewthwaite (Picture: AFP)

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Nairobi - Kenyan officials on Tuesday dismissed a report that British terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite, known as the "White Widow", had been inadvertently helped to leave the coastal resort island of Lamu.

According to the Standard newspaper, a "mysterious" white woman who may have been Lewthwaite was allegedly offered a police escort in April to visit a Kenyan army base in Somalia before disappearing.

"These are wild allegations, which are not true," Lamu County police commander Leonard Omollo told AFP, explaining that the woman who was escorted had been identified as a Spanish tourist.

"This lady was a visiting tourist from Spain and she has since returned home," he said.

Kenya's military spokesperson, Willy Wesonga, refused to comment on the report.

Lewthwaite, a 30-year-old Muslim convert, has been linked to Somalia's al-Qaeda-tied Shabaab rebels, who have launched a string of attacks in Kenya including last September's assault on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall that claimed at least 67 lives.

She is the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of four Islamist suicide bombers who attacked the London transport network on 7 July 2005, killing 52 people.

Lewthwaite is the subject of an Interpol "red notice" warrant for her detention, issued at Kenya's request. She is wanted in Kenya on charges of being in possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011.

Read more on:    kenya  |  west africa
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