Belfast Telegraph

Scotland Yard joins hunt in Kenya for Northern Ireland-born bomb plot suspect

By John Mulgrew

Counter-terrorism officers from the UK are to join the hunt for a Northern Ireland woman wanted over a bomb attack in Kenya which killed three people last month, it has been reported.

Banbridge-raised Samantha Lewthwaite (28) has been on the run with her three children since December after being suspected of involvement in an Islamist plot to bomb hotels in Kenya.

According to the Mail on Sunday, seven officers from Scotland Yard’s Counter-Terrorism Command are due to fly to Kenya today to help hunt for Lewthwaite, the widow of Jermaine Lindsay, one of the London 7/7 bombers.

A spokesman from Scotland Yard told the paper: “We cannot reveal details of the team’s trips to Kenya for security reasons”.

Last week Kenyan police said a woman matching Lewthwaite’s description was seen near the Jericho bar in Mombasa shortly before a grenade attack on June 24. Three people were killed and 25 injured as crowds watched England play Italy at Euro 2012 championship.

“We suspect Samantha Lewthwaite was actively involved in the terrorist attack on the club,” a Kenyan official said.

It has also been reported that Lewthwaite — dubbed the ‘White Widow’ — wrote a chilling entry on an extremist blog just days before the horrific bar attack while on the run from both Kenyan officials and the CIA.

The online diary entry entitled Fears And Tears: Confessions Of A Female Mujahid says her decision to convert to Islam was the “most precious gift that my maker has bestowed upon me”.

The Sunday Mirror attributed the writing to Lewthwaite, |although this cannot be confirmed.

The writer said to be Lewthwaite added: “I am woman who believes in Jihad and supremacy of Islam.

“I will cry soon but these will be tears of joy when the mujahideen claim victory and raise the flag here in Kenya.”

The post may be the first time the unlikely radical Islamic |activist has made an attempt to communicate with the outside world since fleeing from the |authorities.

The daughter of a British soldier father and Irish Catholic mother, Lewthwaite became a Muslim aged 17. She once lived in the Whyte Acres Estate in Banbridge.

Her mother Christine is originally from the town and married soldier Andy Lewthwaite while he was serving in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

The couple and their children lived in Banbridge before the marriage broke up.

Lewthwaite has now been on the run since anti-terrorist officers in Nairobi swooped on the gang which was planning to stage a series of attacks on the coastal resort of Mombasa last December.

Background

Mother-of-three Samantha Lewthwaite (28) has been on the run from the authorities since December after she was suspected of being part of an al-Qaida-linked group based in Somalia. Although born in England, she spent part of her childhood in Banbridge. She changed her name to Sherafiyah after converting to Islam at 17. She was married to London 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay, who blew himself up on a Tube train, killing himself and 26 other people.

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