Saturday 25 November 2017

July 7 bomber's widow 'on the run' over links with terrorist cell

Samantha Lewthwaite, who also uses the aliases Natalie Faye Webb
Samantha Lewthwaite, who also uses the aliases Natalie Faye Webb
Samantha Lewthwaite and Jermaine Lindsaypose with their son
Police in Kenya have issued an arrest warrant for a woman using the name Natalie Faye Webb

Duncan Gardham

SAMANTHA Lewthwaite, the widow of one of the July 7 bombers, Jermaine Lindsay, is thought to be on the run accused of links with a terrorist cell planning bomb attacks in Kenya.

Police in Kenya have issued an arrest warrant for a woman using the name Natalie Faye Webb, and carrying a forged South African passport.

Helped by officers from Scotland Yard who flew out to offer advice, they have published her picture to alert the public.

But investigators say the woman has three separate identities and one is that of Samantha Lewthwaite, who was married to Jermaine Lindsay, one of the 7/7 bombers.

Lindsay killed 26 people when he blew himself up on the Piccadilly Line between King’s Cross and Russell Square in July 2005.

Lewthwaite, from Aylesbury, Bucks, who converted to Islam at the age of 15 and married Lindsay in 2002, is said to be travelling with her three children.

She is suspected of having links to a terrorist cell planning an attack in Kenya after their troops crossed the border to fight al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked group in Somalia.

"I can give no details, but suffice it to say that we believe she is not a small fish,” a senior police source in Nairobi. “She is among several Britons that our intelligence service is aware of in relation to terrorists' plans to attack us."

Kenyan police claimed to be closing in on the woman at that stage but she has so far evaded capture.

They are also hunting for a woman called Habib Ghani, from Hounslow, West London, who left Britain several years ago to live in Africa.

They are said to be connected to Jermaine Grant, 29, a Muslim convert of Jamaican origin from Newham, East London, who has appeared in court in Kenya on charges of possessing explosives and preparing an attack.

He was arrested in the coastal town of Mombasa in December, in an apartment where police also found bomb-making chemicals, batteries and an electric switch.

Security sources in Nairobi said that when he was detained, Grant had plans for hotels and restaurants in the Kenyan capital.

He was charged alongside Kenyans Fouad Abubakar Manswab, Warda Breik Islam and Frank Ngala. Grant had apparently married Islam days before he was arrested.

The charge sheet showed that they were allegedly found in possession of bomb-making materials including batteries, wire, ammonium nitrate, lead nitrate, acetone and hydrogen peroxide.

"On 20 December … jointly with others not before the court, they conspired to improvise an explosive with intent to cause loss of human lives and harm to innocent citizens," it said.

Grant has already been sentenced to three years in prison for using false documents that claimed he was a Canadian called Peter Joseph.

Grant was reportedly radicalised when previously held for non-terrorist-related offences in Feltham young offenders institution in London.

Media reports in Kenya said Grant had also been arrested with two others in 2008 while trying to sneak into Somalia disguised as women.

Miss Lewthwaite, 27, was seven months pregnant with their second child when her husband launched his 7/7 attacks, although it emerged at the inquests last year that Lindsay was cheating on her.

She had taken the name Sherafiyah after converting and met Lindsay in 2002 over the internet.

She initially denied Lindsay's involvement in the 7/7 attacks until authorities produced forensic evidence to confirm his identity, although she later said she “abhorred” the attacks and that her husband's mind had been poisoned by radicals.

In August 2009, she gave birth to a baby she named Abdur-Rahman Faheem Jamal – the same surname as the two other children she fathered with Lindsay.

However it was unclear who the father was because there was no name on the birth certificate and she refused to reveal his identity.

A family insider said they were told the father was a Muslim Moroccan from Birmingham.

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