The alleged commander of the Nairobi mall terrorist attacks, known as the “White Widow,” was using faked South African identity documents and passports to travel the world under stolen identities.
The police are currently investigating what Samntha Lewthwaite’s movements were in South Africa, and have said that both Lewthwaite and terrorist organisation al-Shabab had been fundraising and recruiting right here in SA.
Kenyan authorities have said that Lewthwaite entered Kenya in 2011 with a South African passport issued with the name of a real South African, Natalie Faye Webb. This was a genuine document that Lewthwaite was able to provide supporting documents for.
A government official involved in the investigation said:
[Lewthwaite] stole the identity of the other woman and claimed to have grown up in London with her parents who emigrated there . she applied for a passport and brought [supporting] documents and it was issued.
The ‘White Widow,’ travelled with her three children, and at least one of those children also carried a South African passport.
In 2011, the department of Home Affairs flagged her passport after they realized her supporting documents were fake. They have not said what lead them to this realization but said as soon as they noticed, her passport was flagged and she was not able to use it again at any airport world wide.
The second South African identity number that Lewthwaite used apparently belonged to a man. A police source said:
This is forming part of our investigation, as are the different identity numbers and documents, including South African drivers’ licences in her name
The eNCA reported that when Lewthwaite left South Africa under her assumed identity, she owed South African banks tens of thousands of rands. The report said she owes First Rand Bank R30,000.
Lewthwaite’s husband, Germaine Lindsay, was one of the 2005 London suicide bombers.
[Source: Times Live]
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