Anti-terrorism authorities in Kenya are searching for the widow of Germaine Lindsay, a participant in London's 7/7 terrorist attacks, on the suspicion that she may be connected to a terror plot in the East African nation.
Kenyan officials believe that Samantha Lewthwaite, the widow, could be the same woman who was involved in a foiled al-Shabaab plan to target Mombasa, Kenya's second largest city, on Christmas Day last year. The suspect evaded police when the terrorist cell was intercepted before they could execute the attack.
The woman in question was originally thought to be Natalie Faye Webb, who entered Kenya with her three children carrying a South African passport in early 2011. Mombasa's chief magistrate, Lillian Mutende, issued a warrant for the arrest of Webb in January, according to local media.
However, in the course of their investigation, police discovered that Natalie Faye Webb was a stolen identity used by the suspect.
Based on the striking similarity between the photo in the forged passport and Lethwaite, and the fact that both women have three children, police are investigating the possibility the two names may belong to the same person.
We know quite a bit about her now. She has had three identities in the past and that [Samantha Lewthwaite] is one possible identity, Eric Kiraithe, a Kenyan police spokesman, told the Times of London.
We are not denying that we are looking for her [Samantha Lewthwaite], neither are we confirming we are looking for her. This is very premature information. We are not confirming whether we are doing it or not. Neither are we going to give details on what we are doing. Matters relating to anti-terrorism cases are not divulged, the Guardian quotes a deputy police spokesman, Charles Owino, as saying.
Counter-terrorism officers from London's Metropolitan Police are in Kenya to assist with the investigation, and British authorities are also searching for Lewthwaite in the UK.
The Metropolitan Police and Britain's Foreign Office have not commented on the investigation.
Lewthwaite, who was born in England, converted to Islam as a teenager. She and Lindsay married in 2002 after meeting online and protesting against the Iraq War together.
Lindsay, one of four bombers, killed 25 people when he exploded a homemade bomb on a London underground train on July 7, 2005.
Two other British nationals were also allegedly involved in the Mombasa plot. One, Jermaine Grant, is charged in Kenya with possessing bomb-making material and conspiracy to cause an explosion. The other, Habib Ghani, remains at large.