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At Kenya's request, Interpol issues alert for British 'White Widow'

At Kenya's request, Interpol issues alert for British 'White Widow'
Samantha Lewthwaite, dubbed the "White Widow," is seen in an image provided by Interpol. (Interpol / Associated Press)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- At the request of Kenyan authorities, the international police agency Interpol on Thursday issued a "red notice" for the arrest of Samantha Lewthwaite, a British national who has been dubbed the "White Widow."

The request came after Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said a British woman with a record of involvement in terrorism is believed to have been among the militants who attacked a Nairobi shopping mall Saturday, leading to a four-day siege of the facility.

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also said that intelligence suggested the involvement of a British woman in the deadly siege, for which the Somali militant group Shabab claimed responsibility. However, he added that there was no confirmation of such reports.

A statement issued by Interpol did not mention the mall attack. It said Lewthwaite, 29, is wanted on charges of possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to 2011.

Lewthwaite is the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of four suicide bombers who attacked three London subway cars and a bus in July 2005, killing themselves and 52 others. She narrowly evaded arrest in Mombasa, Kenya, in December 2011. At the time, she was traveling on a South African passport.

South African authorities said Thursday that a passport issued to Lewthwaite under the name Natalie Faye Webb was canceled two years ago. The country's home affairs minister, Naledi Pandor, said the document was obtained fraudulently, using a stolen identity.

South Africa's Eyewitness News reported that Lewthwaite accumulated thousands of dollars in debt under the fake identity.

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Twitter: @latimesdixon

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