THE white widow’s secret marriage has been revealed as more arrests were made over the Kenyan tragedy amid horrific accounts of final moments of its youngest victims.
Local authorities made another arrest overnight as part of the ongoing investigation into the four-day siege at the Westgate mall in Nairobi by Islamic militant group al-Shabaab which left 67 people dead.
Some of the tragedy’s youngest victims were shot up to five times by armed militants, according to UK media reports.
WHITE WIDOW’S SECRET MARRIAGE
The Northern-Ireland born terror suspect is married to a former officer from the Kenyan Navy that the paper identifies as Abdi Wahid.
The 29-year-old Muslim convert was the widow of Jermaine Lindsay, one of the suicide bombers who participated in the London underground bombing in 2005. Details of her second marriage are revealed in her Scotland Yard file.
Aged in his 40s, new husband Mr Wahid travels freely and is thought to be in Europe, though it is not known when he married Ms Lewthwaite.
Their union remains a mystery to British authorities as in addition to working for the navy in Kenya, Mr Wahid also worked as a security contractor in Afghanistan. He had previously been listed as her landlord at two properties where she and her young children stayed in Mombasa before January 2012.
He had been arrested by local authorities in 2011 when it was thought that Ms Lewthwaite and her associated were using one of the properties to manufacture explosives. he was later released without charge. He is also thought to have another wife in Mombasa.
Ms Lewthwaite is known to be in East Africa and is wanted over alleged links to a terrorist cell that planned to bomb the country’s coastal resorts. Interpol issued a notice asking for help in capturing the 29-year-old fugitive over the 2011 plot.
HORRIFIC ACCOUNTS OF YOUNG VICTIMS’ FINAL MOMENTS
Meanwhile, horrific accounts have surfaces of the final moments of some of the youngest victims of the massacre at the Westage mall.
Teenager Nehal Vekariya was talking on her mobile phone to her parents when she was shot in the eye, according to The Sunday Times.
The 16-year-old was talking to her father and said: “She said “I’m okay, I’m with friends, call Mummy fast and tell her I’m okay”.”
When her mother rang her, all she could hear was yelling and gunshots before the line went dead.
She wasn’t the only young victim cut down, with the paper reporting that victims as young as five were shot multiple times by the militants.
Many of the young victims had been at the shopping centre to take part in a junior cooking class.
Witnesses said that militants shot the young victims up to five times. One witness said a militant told him: “You didn’t spare our women and children. Why should we spare yours?“
KENYANS FRUSTRATED DESPITE ARRESTS
Overnight Kenya’s security services made another arrest in connection with the deadly attack, a top official said, but declined to say how authorities believe the person was involved in the siege.
Kenya has arrested 12 people since the attack but three have been freed, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said during a press conference. He declined to say if any of those arrested had been in the mall during the attack.
Investigators have also identified a car used by the gunmen, from the Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabab, and found in it “an assortment of illegal weapons,” said Lenku.
The siege, which included the collapse of part of the mall, left 67 people dead, according to officials. But the Red Cross says 59 people remain missing, though the government puts that number at zero.
Kenyans have become increasingly frustrated over the government’s unwillingness to share information about the attack. Almost no details have been released about what happened after the first hours of the siege.
“We ask you to bear with us,” he said, of the government’s unwillingness to share information.
While the mall was a chaotic scene for many hours after the attack began, with people moving in and out of the upscale shopping centre, Lenku insisted no terrorists could have escaped.
“Our forces sealed off every point of exit,” he said. “It was completely secured.”
Earlier Sunday, about 200 Kenyan Muslims held a rally near the mall to remember the dead and call for peace.
“We condemn the terror attack on Westgate Mall,” said one sign. “One Country. One People. One Love. Kenya Asia Muslims,” said another.
Many of those at the rally were from Kenya’s Asian community, the descendants of people who came from colonial India — what is now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh — to work in Kenya more than a century ago.
- New Arrest in Kenya Mall Siege (voanews.com)
- Kenyan government believes no hostages were left in Nairobi mall, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku says – @Reuters (reuters.com)
- UK woman, main suspect in Nairobi attack (rinf.com)
- Another suspect held after mall siege (iol.co.za)