Interpol issues Red alert for the ‘White Widow’ after Nairobi attack

Interpol issues Red alert for the ‘White Widow’ after Nairobi attack Samantha Lewthwaite, who is believed to use the alias Natalie Webb, had previously only been wanted for the alleged possession of a fraudulently obtained South African passport.

LONDON: Interpol on Thursday issued an international wanted people alert known as the Red Notice for the arrest of British mother-of-three Samantha Lewthwaite for her role in the recent terrorist attack in Nairobi.

Known around the world as the "White Widow," Interpol has circulated the arrest notice to all 190 Interpol member countries including India.

Red Notice is one of Interpol's most powerful tools in tracking international fugitives. The global security watchdog said the notice is being issued at the request of authorities in Kenya.

Lewthwaite is the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of the four bombers involved in the July 7 terror attacks in London in 2005 in which 52 people were killed and many more injured. Lewthwaite is the prime suspect behind the Mumbai-style Nairobi shopping mall massacre which has killed nearly 70 people.

Interpol secretary general Ronald K Noble said, "Lewthwaite, aged 29, who is also believed to use the alias 'Natalie Webb', is wanted by Kenya on charges of being in possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011. By requesting an Interpol red notice, Kenya has activated a global 'tripwire' for this fugitive." He said that the public's help in identifying and locating the white widow fugitive was crucial.

"Through the 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," said the head of Interpol.

Containing identification details and judicial information about a wanted person, the red notices communicate to police worldwide that a person is wanted by a member country and request that the suspect be placed under provisional arrest pending extradition.

Daughter of a former British soldier, Lewthwaite is one of Al Qaeda's primary recruiters in east Africa besides being the official spokesperson for the banned outfit Al-Shabaab. On the run for the past year, she is wanted in several countries including UK for terrorist activities. She is originally from Northern Ireland and holds a British passport.

The terrorist group has taken responsibility for the Nairobi attack.

The Kenyan anti-terrorist police recently revealed a video footage showing a balaclava clad white woman holding a gun and controlling the terrorist operation from within the mall. In a Twitter message later, Al-Shabaab praised the "White Widow" - the mother of three and boasted that she was with them.

Kenya's foreign minister Amina Mohamed confirmed on Tuesday that a woman of British origin who has carried out attacks "many, many times before" was among the terrorists orchestrating the entire attack from inside the shopping mall.

According to unconfirmed reports, a white woman is among the suspects killed by Kenyan forces.

Lewthwaite, dubbed the "White Widow", at Kenya's request.

Lewthwaite, 29, is the wife of one of the four suicide bombers, Jermaine Lindsay, involved in the terror attacks in London in July 2005 in which 52 people were killed and hundreds more injured.

She has been linked with Somali militant Islamist group al-Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall over the weekend in which at least 67 which were killed.

"By requesting an Interpol red notice, Kenya has activated a global 'tripwire' for this fugitive," said Interpol secretary general Ronald K Noble.

"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," he added.

She is wanted by Kenya on charges of being in possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011.

The Interpol wanted persons' alert requires member countries to detain the suspect pending extradition procedures.

Lewthwaite, who is believed to use the alias Natalie Webb, had previously only been wanted for the alleged possession of a fraudulently obtained South African passport.

Interpol did not link the warrant to the Nairobi attack, but it comes after much speculation linking Lewthwaite to the Westgate mall attack.

The notice came as Britain revised down the number of Britons killed in the Nairobi shopping mall attack from six to five, saying one of those previously identified was Kenyan.

Kenya is continuing three days of official mourning for the civilian and military victims of the siege.

Al-Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaida, has repeatedly threatened attacks on Kenyan soil if Nairobi did not pull its troops out of Somalia.
READ MORE - Interpol issues Red alert for the ‘White Widow’ after Nairobi attack

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to Coptic Christians: Convert to Islam, or pay ‘jizya’ tax

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to Coptic Christians: Convert to Islam, or pay ‘jizya’ tax

The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters have began forcing the roughly 15,000 Christian Copts of Dalga village in Egypt to pay a jizya tax as indicated in Koran 9:29, author and translator Raymond Ibrahim reported on Sunday.

Jizya is the money, or tribute, “that conquered non-Muslims historically had to pay to their Islamic overlords ‘with willing submission and while feeling themselves subdued’ to safeguard their existence,” Mr. Ibrahim explained.

According to Fr. Yunis Shawqi, who spoke yesterday to Dostor reporters in Dalga, all Copts in the village, “without exception,” are being forced to pay the tax.

“[The] value of the tribute and method of payment differ from one place to another in the village, so that, some are being expected to pay 200 Egyptian pounds per day, others 500 Egyptian pounds per day,” Mr. Shawqi said, according to the translator.

In some cases, families not able to pay have been attacked. As many as 40 Christian families have now fled Dalga, Mr. Ibrahim reported.

The taxes are not unique to Egypt either.

Just over the weekend Syrian rebels went into a Christian man’s “shop and gave him three options: become Muslim; pay $70,000 as a tax levied on non-Muslims, known as jizya; or be killed along with his family,” Christian Science Monitor reported.


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/10/egypts-muslim-brotherhood-convert-islam-or-pay-jiz/
READ MORE - Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to Coptic Christians: Convert to Islam, or pay ‘jizya’ tax

Is White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite dead? Woman terror suspect killed as troops storm Nairobi shopping centre

Investigators are trying to identify the body of a white woman found among the Islamic militants killed as troops stormed the complex
Prime suspect: Samantha Lewthwaite
Prime suspect: Samantha Lewthwaite
The British terrorist dubbed the White Widow may have been shot dead by Kenyan soldiers after the Nairobi mall massacre.
Investigators are trying to identify the body of a white woman found among the Islamic militants killed as troops stormed the complex.
And there were claims that it could be fugitive mum-of-three Samantha Lewthwaite, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
Experts believe she helped plan the bloodbath and may have been part of the masked gang that slaughtered 62 shoppers, including six Brits.
An intelligence source said: “Lewthwaite is the most wanted female terrorist in the world.
"She has managed to evade capture for two years but she may have finally been killed.”
The source added that Lewthwaite may have plotted the slaughter with the al-Shabaab terror group in revenge for the capture of her right hand man.
She had allegedly planned to bomb Kenyan beach resorts with London-born Jermaine Grant. Police swooped on the pair at their Mombasa home in December 2011 – but Lewthwaite escaped and has been on the run ever since.
Chemicals found in their rented apartment were identical to the ingredients Lewthwaite’s former husband Jermaine Lindsay used to kill 26 people and himself in the London 7/7 attacks.
Grant, 31, was today due to stand trial for the planned atrocities but prosecutors in Mombasa dramatically halted the hearing as it emerged Lewthwaite was a prime suspect in the Nairobi atrocity.
One senior security official said that despite the reports of her death, many believed Lewthwaite was still at large.

 He added: “We are dealing with a very fast moving target. Everything is being done to locate her.
“She is an al-Shabaab lieutenant and has used her influence to bring bloodshed to Kenya. The timings of this attack is very sensitive.
“We are fully aware of her links with Jermaine Grant, who will be brought to justice just like those who have brought carnage to our streets.”
Grant, from Newham, East London, failed to appear in court in Mombasa today.
Previous court hearings have heard how Lewthwaite plotted an armed operation to free him using similar tactics to those employed by the Westgate shopping centre terrorists.
Jacob Ondari, the deputy public prosecutor, told Mombasa magistrates in March: “I pray that this case be moved to Shanzu courts within the prison premises for the sake of the court’s security.
"There are intelligence reports indicating that there are plans to rescue the first accused from the prison.”
Mr Ondari said one man linked to the operation was recently arrested in Mombasa with a grenade.
Another was stopped crossing into Kenya from Tanzania with bullet-proof vests and face masks.
As a result, the trial, at which six Scotland Yard anti-terror officers are due to testify, was moved to “safe” court inside the grounds of a high security jail.
Today’s hearing was adjourned after Mr Ondari mysteriously failed to show up at court.
The case is due to resume tomorrow.
As the bloody siege in Nairobi entered its third day, officials said the death toll could double after it emerged that at least 63 are still missing.
Six Britons were killed and children as young as two are among the 175 injured. Kenyan officials confirmed that three terrorists had been killed and more than 10 suspects arrested.
Eleven Kenyan soldiers have been wounded in running gun battles.
The attackers still held at least 10 to 15 hostages tonight.

 A number of others were freed after troops launched a major assault on Sunday night.
Huge explosions and machine gun fire echoed around the area and a huge plume of smoke hung over the building today amid reports that the terrorists were trying to burn it down.
Police helicopters swooped overhead sparking rumours – later denied – that one of the gunmen had escaped.
As troop reinforcements and armoured personnel carriers arrived on the scene, the terrorists’ supporters sent a defiant message to the world.
Al- Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage said on an Islamist website that the remaining hostages would “bear the brunt of any force” used against them.
He added: “We authorise the mujahedeen inside the building to take actions against the prisoners as much as they are pressed.
“We are telling Christians advancing onto the mujahedeen to have mercy for their prisoners.”
A makeshift hospital was set up by the Kenyan Red Cross in a car park near the mall.
The terrorists were believed to be holed up with their hostages on the third floor of the four-storey mall following a series of gun battles.
They threatened to start executing hostages if the troops did not back off.
Downing Street sources said last night it was not known if any more Brits were caught up in the siege.
They also declined to comment on reports that White Widow Lewthwaite may have been a part of the terror gang.
One insider said: “We believe most of those caught up in the attack were long-term Kenyan residents just going about their everyday lives.
David Cameron broke off from staying with the Queen at Balmoral today and returned to London to chair a meeting of the Government’s Cobra crisis committee.

 Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “We’re in close touch with the Kenyan authorities and stand ready to provide them with any additional assistance they require.”
Asked about reports that Britons may have been involved in the planning the attack, Mr Hammond replied: “I’ve seen those reports but there’s no evidence to support those claims.”
He added: “We have been in touch with the Kenyan authorities and have excellent lines of communication with them.
“As the Prime Minister has made clear, we will provide them with any assistance which they request.
"We maintain continuous contact with the Kenyan authorities and with our own diplomatic post in Nairobi.”
Barack Obama said he was appalled by the massacre and pledged that the US would do all it could to help Kenya.
He added: “We stand with them against this terrible outrage.”
He was speaking during a meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in New York, where they were attending the United Nations General Assembly.
Both expressed their condolences to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who today revealed he lost members of his family in the attack.
Mr Jonathan said: “I feel the pain of President Kenyatta… terror anywhere is terror on all of us.”
READ MORE - Is White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite dead? Woman terror suspect killed as troops storm Nairobi shopping centre

Kenya says all hostages freed in Nairobi shopping mall siege

Nairobi: Kenya said its security forces had taken control of the Nairobi shopping mall where Islamist fighters killed at least 62 people, and that police were doing a final sweep of shops early Tuesday after the last of the hostages had been rescued.

There was an eerie silence outside the mall after a day in which gunfire and explosions were heard in the Westgate mall. A trickle of survivors escaped the building throughout the day on Monday, but the fate of people listed as missing was unclear.

Somalia's al Qaeda-linked al Shebab group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which began at lunchtime on Saturday. Kenyan officials say there were 10 to 15 attackers.

President Barack Obama offered U.S. support, saying he believed Kenya - the scene of one of al Qaeda's first major attacks, in 1998, and a neighbour of chaotic Somalia - would continue to be a regional pillar of stability.

Kenyan security forces believed the end was in sight for the siege at the upmarket shopping mall in the capital, saying its forces were "in control" as the ordeal entered its fourth day.

A government official said there was no resistance from the attackers late on Monday night after a barrage of gunfire and blasts throughout the day, but that the security forces were cautious in case some attackers were hiding in the building.

"Our forces are combing the mall floor by floor looking for anyone left behind. We believe all hostages have been released," the Ministry of Interior said on Twitter.

The siege has followed a pattern of bursts of gunfire and activity followed by long lulls.

Patronised by well-to-do Kenyans and expatriates, Westgate mall epitomised the African consumer bonanza that is drawing foreign investment - from West and East - to one of the world's fastest growing regions.

Al Qaeda killed more than 200 people when it bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi in 1998. When fighters from its Somali ideological counterpart stormed the mall on Saturday, they hit a high-profile symbol of Kenya's economic power.

Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, said the United States stood with Kenyans against "this terrible outrage".

"We will provide them with whatever law enforcement support that is necessary. And we are confident that Kenya will continue to be a pillar of stability in eastern Africa," he said in New York.

Kenya has sent troops to Somalia as part of an African Union force trying to stabilise the country, which was long without a functioning government, and push back al Shebab.

It has also suffered internal instability. President Uhuru Kenyatta, who lost a nephew in the weekend bloodbath, faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court for his alleged role in coordinating violence after disputed elections in 2007. He denies the charges.

Kenyatta has dismissed a demand that he pull Kenyan forces out of Somalia, saying he would not relent in a "war on terror".

British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he believed six Britons had died in the attack. Other known foreign victims are from China, Ghana, France, the Netherlands and Canada. Kenyan officials said the total death toll was at least 62.

FOREIGN FIGHTERS

Kenya believes there are also foreigners among the attackers, with military chief Julius Karangi saying they came from all over the world. "We are fighting global terrorism here," he said, without giving their nationalities.

U.S. authorities are urgently looking into information given by the Kenyan government that residents of Western countries, including the United States, may have been among the attackers, U.S. security sources said.

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said he had no direct information that Americans had participated in the attack, but expressed U.S. worries.

"We do monitor very carefully and have for some time been concerned about efforts by al Shebab to recruit Americans or U.S. persons to come to Somalia," Rhodes told reporters travelling with Obama to the United Nations in New York.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said the militants had set fire to mattresses in a supermarket on the mall's lower floors and his ministry later said the blaze was under control. Two attackers were killed on Monday, taking the total of dead militants so far to three, he told a news conference.

Speculation rose about the identity of the attackers. Ole Lenku said they were all men but that some had dressed as women.

Despite his comments, one intelligence officer and two soldiers told Reuters that one of the dead militants was a white woman. This is likely to fuel speculation that she is the wanted widow of one of the suicide bombers who together killed more than 50 people on London's transport system in 2005.

Called the "white widow" by the British press, Samantha Lewthwaite is wanted in connection with an alleged plot to attack hotels and restaurants in Kenya. Asked if the dead woman was Lewthwaite, the intelligence officer said: "We don't know."

A spokesman for al Shebab warned they would kill hostages if Kenyan troops tried to storm their positions. "The mujahideen will kill the hostages if the enemies use force," Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said in an online audio statement.

From Mali to Algeria, Nigeria to Kenya, violent Islamist groups - tapping into local poverty, conflict, inequality or exclusion but espousing a similar anti-Western, anti-Christian creed - are striking at state authority and international interests, both economic and political.

John Campbell, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, said he believed insurgents such as those who rebelled in Mali last year, the Nigerian Boko Haram Islamist sect and the Nairobi mall raiders were also partly motivated by anger with what he called "pervasive malgovernance" in Africa.

"This is undoubtedly anti-Western and anti-Christian but it also taps into a lot of deep popular anger against the political economy in which they find themselves, in which a very small group of people are basically raking off the wealth," he said.
READ MORE - Kenya says all hostages freed in Nairobi shopping mall siege
 
 
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