by MARY CHASTAIN 26 Sep 2013, 9:11 AM PDT
Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for British national Samantha Lewthwaite, also knows as the “White Widow.” Kenya requested the warrant, claiming she is a danger to the world. The international law enforcement agency sent the red alert to 190 countries, notifying officials it is a priority to pass along any information on her whereabouts.
Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said: “By requesting an INTERPOL Red Notice, Kenya has activated a global ‘tripwire’ for this fugitive,” said
“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.”
Mr Noble said the publication of the Red Notice for Samantha Lewthwaite meant that the public could also play a crucial role in providing information to law enforcement to help identify and locate her.
With Lewthwaite previously only wanted at the national level for alleged possession of a fraudulently obtained South African passport, Mr Noble said this case underlined the ‘invisible threat’ posed by terrorists and criminals travelling internationally using illicit passports.
Lewthwaite is suspected of being part of the Westgate Mall massacre in Nairobi, Kenya. On September 21, 10 to 15 al-Shabaab jihadists stormed the mall and said they wanted to murder all non-Muslims. They lined up men, women, and children and quizzed them over Islam. If the civilians could not answer correctly to prove they were Muslim, the gunman slaughtered them.
Lewthwait’s first husband, Germaine Lindsay, blew himself up and murdered 26 people on a train in London in July 2005 as part of the terrorist attacks on the London Underground. At first, Lewthwaite condemned the crime, but in 2009 she disappeared and ran to Kenya, joining with al-Shabaab. The Kenyan authorities put her on a wanted list after her fingerprints were found at a crime scene of a terror plot against Westerners.
The South African government said Lewthwaite used the name “Naledi Pandor” to obtain her passport, but the name on the passport says Natalie Faye Webb. The country cancelled the passport in 2011, and it has not been used since February 2011. The government said they did not knowingly harbor Lewthwaite.
No we are not, no government intentionally provides cover, I hope, for terrorist groups, and it is certainly not the practice of the government or security forces of South Africa.
It is unknown if she ever lived in South Africa. Credit records show three addresses for Webb in Johannesburg, but residents deny she lived there.