Nairobi - Interpol has issued a wanted
persons alert at Kenya's request on Thursday for a British woman who was
cited by British police as a possible suspect in the attack on a
Nairobi shopping mall that killed at least 72 people.
The alert was issued as Kenyan police broadened the investigation
into the weekend raid by the al Qaeda-aligned Somali al Shabaab group,
the worst such assault since the U.S. Embassy was bombed in the capital
by al Qaeda in 1998.
Interpol , which has joined agencies from Britain, the U.S., Israel
and others in the Kenyan investigation of the wrecked mall - did not say
when Nairobi requested a so-called "red alert" notice for Samantha
The widow of one of the suicide bombers who attacked London's
transport system in 2005 is believed to have evaded arrest two years ago
in the port city of Mombasa, where she is wanted in connection with a
plot to bomb hotels and restaurants.
Interpol's "red alert" cites the previous 2011 plot.
Police in Mombasa, a tourist hub, said they were also tracking four
suspected militants, following the siege of the swanky Westgate mall in
Nairobi which militants stormed on Saturday armed with assault rifles
The mall attack has demonstrated the reach of al Shabaab beyond
Somalia, where Kenyan troops have joined other African forces, driving
the group out of major urban areas.
Al Shabaab stormed the mall to demand that Kenya pull its troops out, which President Uhuru Kenyatta has ruled out.
Many details of the assault are unclear, including the identity of the attackers who officials said numbered about a dozen.
Speculation that Lewthwaite, dubbed the "White Widow" in the British
press, was triggered by witness accounts that one of raiders was a white
However, Kenya's government and Western officials have cautioned that
they cannot confirm the reports she was involved, or even that there
were any women participants in the raid.
The government said five of the attackers were killed, along with at least 61 civilians and six security personnel.
Eleven suspects had been arrested in relation to the attack.
Although the Red Cross lists 71 missing people, the government said
it does not expect a big rise in the death toll.