This photo taken in January shows the house in Mombasa that was allegedly used by Ms Samantha Lewthwaite to plan terror attacks in the country. Photo/FILE
Monday, July 09, 2012
Detectives are investigating claims that a British woman wanted in the country over terror was married to a Kenyan accomplice. According to the UK’s Sunday Mirror, Ms Samantha Lewthwaite married Mr Habib Saleh Gani last year.
A police source said officers believed the two wedded in November or December in Mombasa, the newspaper reported.
He said: “There are intelligence reports which indicate that the two were married here in Mombasa. We have received specific information about the wedding, which happened after November last year.”
The newspaper also reported that a team of British spies had been flown to Kenya to help local officers gather more evidence on the man they believe is Mr Lewthwaite’s new husband.
The Scotland Yard detectives are reported to have arrived in the country two weeks ago.
Earlier, officials had feared that the couple had fled into neighbouring Somalia.
But the Kenyan police source said detectives believed the couple was still in Kenya.
He added: “There is a British security team in Kenya helping our officers track down the two.
“Samantha was thought to have escaped to Somalia, but reports we received months after she slipped from our hook indicate that she went to neighbouring Tanzania before sneaking back to Mombasa.
“We are seriously looking for the two because it is suspected they could be plotting serious attacks in this region.”
Ms Lewthwaite, 28, and a mother of three, has been on the run for six months and is wanted over an alleged plot to blow up Western targets in the country.
Detectives believe she is in hiding with her three children and Gani — a suspected extremist who has dual Kenyan and Pakistani citizenship, but was brought up in Britain.
Meanwhile, MPs have been urged to tread with caution while debating the Anti-Terrorism Bill.
“I know we are hurting from recent bomb attacks, but sobriety should guide debate on the law’s pros and cons,” said Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Abullswamad Nassir.
Mr Nassir, who was speaking at Istiqama Madrassah in Mombasa at the weekend, warned against “blindly” implementing the proposed law without analysing its contents and consequences.
According to him, the Bill has serious flaws that could be used to profile people arbitrarily without following the due course of the law.
Mr Nassir asked religious leaders to preach peace and unity in the country, warning that any disharmony could be used by the country’s enemies to cause mayhem.
He was concerned that without reforming the police force little would be achieved in the fight against terror.
“This Bill is a two-sided sword that can be used to legalise an illegal act,” he said.
Mr Nassir urged the Muslim community to pray for peace in the country ahead of the holy month of Ramadhan later this month.
A human rights group, Muslims for Human Rights, has threatened court action if the Bill is passed, while ODM nominated MP Sheikh Mohammed Dor says the Bill contains some abhorrent clauses that are against the spirit of the Constitution.
Last week, the US government slapped a ban on three Mombasa businessmen for allegedly financing and recruiting Kenyans for Somalia’s Al-Shabaab militia.
Mr Abubakar Sharif Ahmed, Mr Omar Awadh Omar and Mr Aboud Rogo Mohammed were blacklisted in an “execution order” signed by President Barack Obama.