Residents help police arrest 'White Widow' look-alike

Friday March 25 2016

Samantha Lewthwaite (White Widow), one of the world’s most-wanted woman terrorist. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Samantha Lewthwaite (White Widow), one of the world’s most-wanted woman terrorist. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

More by this Author

Anti-Terrorism Police Unit officers Thursday questioned a woman and two men arrested in Nairobi at noon.

The three were apprehended on Moi Avenue after the public notified the police officers.

The residents blocked the car the three were using as they waited for police to arrive.

The woman and the men were then taken to Railways Police Station, where they were interrogated for two hours before being handed over to the ATPU.

Railways Police Station head Kirimi Ringera said the woman claimed that she arrived in the country from the United States to meet her two Facebook friends in Mandera.

He added that the three said they had just arrived from the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and were heading for Tsavo National Park.

Police sources indicated that the public suspected that the woman could be Kenya’s most wanted terrorism suspect, Samantha Lewthwaite, commonly known as ‘The White Widow’.

Lewthwaite is believed to have masterminded the Westgate Mall attack on September 21, 2013, in which more than 60 people died.

“We received calls from residents indicating that they suspected the woman was the White Widow,” an officer attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said. “We could not take any chances.”

Kenya was placed on high alert on Wednesday following the twin attacks on an airport and a subway in Brussels.

Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet said there was a need for every citizen to participate in security matters by reporting suspicious individuals and activities. 

Mr Boinnet said there was a possibility of retaliatory attacks after many Al-Shabaab militants were killed by KDF soldiers.

In September 2014, the Interior ministry offered an American family a fully paid trip in compensation for the arrest of their 15-year-old daughter, who was “harassed” by police after being mistaken for Lewthwaite.