Saturday 27 December 2014

Interpol issues arrest warrant for Irish-born 'White Widow' Samantha Lewthwaite

Published 26/09/2013 | 15:24

Samantha Lewthwaite
The White Widow: Samantha Lewthwaite with Jermaine Lindsay and their son
Samantha Lewthwaite
Samantha Lewthwaite
Possible picture of Samantha Lewthwaite with unidentified man released by the Kenyan police

An international arrest warrant has been issued for British terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite, who was married to one of the July 7 bombers.

Interpol said it was issuing the "Red Notice" for the arrest of Lewthwaite - dubbed the "White Widow" - at the request of the Kenyan authorities.

The warrant relates to charges of being in possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011.

Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble said: "By requesting an Interpol Red Notice, Kenya has activated a global 'tripwire' for this fugitive.

"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."

Ndegwa Muhoro, director of Kenya's Criminal Investigation Department, said the alert for Lewthwaite is not related to the attack by Somalia's Islamist al Shabaab militants on the Westgate mall in Nairobi that killed at least 72 people.

"The 'red alert' has nothing to do with Westgate. Her role in this attack is yet to be confirmed, but she is wanted on charges of possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony," Muhoro said.

There has been intense speculation linking Lewthwaite, 29, to the Nairobi shopping mall attack by Islamist militants from the al Qaida-linked al Shabab group.

The Kenya authorities have said forensic experts are working to establish if any of the attackers was female after receiving reports that a British woman was involved.

Lewthwaite - who is believed to use the alias "Natalie Webb" - had previously only been wanted at national level for the possession of a fraudulently obtained South African passport.

Mr Noble said her case highlighted the "invisible threat"' posed by terrorists and criminals travelling internationally using illicit passports.

"Every year hundreds of millions of individuals are boarding international transport and crossing borders without having the authenticity of their travel or identity document checked," he said.

"This dramatically compromises our ability to effectively screen and identify at airports and land crossings those individuals who could be suspected criminals and terrorists."

There has been intense speculation linking Lewthwaite, 29, to the Nairobi shopping mall attack by Islamist militants from the al Qaida-linked al Shabab group.

The Kenya authorities have said forensic experts are working to establish if any of the attackers was female after receiving reports that a British woman was involved.

Lewthwaite - who is believed to use the alias "Natalie Webb" - had previously only been wanted at national level for the possession of a fraudulently obtained South African passport.

Mr Noble said her case highlighted the "invisible threat"' posed by terrorists and criminals travelling internationally using illicit passports.

"Every year hundreds of millions of individuals are boarding international transport and crossing borders without having the authenticity of their travel or identity document checked," he said.

"This dramatically compromises our ability to effectively screen and identify at airports and land crossings those individuals who could be suspected criminals and terrorists."

Press Association

Promoted articles

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News