Posted on | September 25, 2013 | 28 Comments
Fake passport identifies Samantha Lewthwaite as ‘Natalie Faye Webb.’
Since Monday, we have awaited official confirmation of press reports that Britain’s notorious “White Widow” Samantha Lewthwaite was among the Muslim terrorists who perpetrated the massacre at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
There is still no such confirmation, but the speculation has become so intense that the New York Times was obliged to acknowledge it:
Much speculation has swirled around the question of whether any of the heavily armed militants were women.
Kenyan officials initially asserted that there had been no women among the shooters, but on Tuesday Mr. Kenyatta seemed to revive the possibility that one of the assailants was a British woman.
Several intelligence analysts in Nairobi speculated that the woman was Samantha Lewthwaite, a Muslim convert who had been married to one of the four suicide bombers who struck the London transit system on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people and themselves.
Kenyan authorities suspected that Ms. Lewthwaite had risen up through the ranks of extremist groups and was leading a terrorism cell on the Kenyan coast; though they almost swooped in on her in 2011, she escaped. In Kenya and in Britain, she is now known as “the white widow.”
Officials believe Lewthwaite entered Kenya in 2011 on a fake South African passport under the alias of “Natalie Faye Webb.”
Donald Douglas at American Power has been following the story — there is a sort of “White Widow” frenzy in the British press — and links this account from The Australian:
A SHOP worker has described how a woman resembling the ‘White Widow’ sprayed bullets in her direction during the terrorist attack on a Kenyan mall.
The witness says she was cowering under boxes when an AK-37-wielding, pale-skinned woman with long dark hair locked eyes with her.
She then opened fire from a balcony.
The witness, named only as Caroline, told the Daily Mail she managed to escape unharmed as the terrorists advanced through the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi.
“She was high up but not far from me, close enough that I saw her looking along the floor where I was until she saw me,” Caroline said.
“She stopped and aimed at me and then opened fire.”
The shop assistant said the woman was wearing a baggy black top and had long black hair.
“I can’t remember very much, but I remember she had pale skin,” she said.
This witness account is but one of several reporting a white female among terrorists who attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi at the weekend, killing 61 civilians and six security forces.
Amid the confused aftermath of the siege in Kenya, where investigators are just now beginning to sift through the evidence, this kind of speculation is understandable, but we still have no official confirmation that Lewthwaite was involved. Stay tuned.