Sunday, October 27, 2013

How Al-Shabab mastermind 'White Widow' tricked SA, UK and Kenya

Samantha Lewthwaite, alias the ‘White Widow’
Britain and South Africa both issued new passports to Samantha Lewthwaite in the months before she went on the run.
Lewthwaite, the widow of the one of the July 7 suicide bombers, received a new British passport in 2011 from the British High Commission in South Africa's capital, Pretoria. Days earlier, on January 31, 2011, Lewthwaite had also been given a South African passport in the name of Natalie Faye Webb, a nurse then living in Essex whose identity she allegedly stole.
Naledi Pandor, the South African home affairs minister, insisted this document was cancelled "in February 2011" and placed on an Interpol "stop list".
'White Widow' Lewthwaite has now evaded arrest for almost two years
That should have alerted all 192 members of Interpol to detain anyone found carrying the passport. Instead, the Kenyan authorities gave Lewthwaite new tourist visas – or renewed old ones – on five separate occasions: February 26; March 28; May 3; August 25; and November 21. All these stamps were placed in the supposedly cancelled South African passport. The last visa was issued just weeks before Lewthwaite went on the run in December 2011.

By then, she was a suspected member of a terrorist cell which was allegedly planning Christmas bomb attacks on hotels and shopping centres.
'White Widow' Lewthwaite has now evaded arrest for almost two years.
She was recently named in connection with the Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi that killed 67 people, including six Britons, last month.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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