Wife of London 7/7 suicide bomber tagged the ‘White Widow’ Body Found in Kenyan terror attack

THE terror attack on a Kenyan shopping centre that has left 68 dead was being led by the white English widow of a 7/7 London suicide bomber, it was claimed today.

Soldiers said a white woman wearing a veil was shouting orders to gunmen in Arabic during the bloody massacre inside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

Islamist terror group Al Shabaab claimed it carried out the atrocity in which three Britons were killed and 175 people were left injured.

It said last night on Twitter that Samantha Lewthwaite, the ‘white widow’ of London 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay, was ‘in their ranks’ and a ‘brave lady’.

Police, however, have told reporters that they are still investigating the possibility the woman may have been a hostage dressed in one of the terrorists’ clothes as a “decoy” during the attack which saw Kenyan authorities regain control of most of the four-storey shopping mall.

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Lewthwaite, known as the “White Widow” to Britain’s tabloid media, is wanted on a string of terrorism related charges in Kenya. The 29-year-old mother of four, from the Home Counties, is believed to be a leading figure in Somali terror organisation Al Shabaab.

She is also wanted for questioning in relation to a series of coordinated suicide attacks in central London on July 7, 2005, in which her husband blew himself up. A double-decker bus and several underground trains were attacked, killing the four suicide bombers and 52 civilians.

Fifteen hostages were still trapped inside the shopping centre after more than 24 hours of carnage in which men, women and children were slaughtered if they could not recite the Koran or name the mother of the Prophet Mohammed.

As well as boasting Lewthwaite was with them, Al Shabaab claimed two British men from London, Liban Adam, 23, and Ahmed Nasir Shirdoon, 24, were among the ‘holy warriors’ in the attack.

The group is said to be highly organised, with huge amounts of ammunition as well as night vision equipment. They have destroyed CCTV cameras inside the shopping mall, meaning they cannot be watched. With horrific cruelty, they have reportedly cut the hands off the bodies of their victims and burned their faces to try to conceal their identities.

Writing on Twitter, the terrorists said: ‘Sherafiyah lewthwaite aka samantha is a vrave [brave] lady! were [we are] happier to have her in our ranks!’ Sherafiyah is the Muslim name now used by Lewthwaite.

Another tweet read: ‘our mujahideen are prepared to die for our cause!’

Last night the terrorists were closed into the second and third floors of a storage warehouse in the mall. Soldiers claimed to have taken control of the ground and first floors.

One said: ‘It is all being controlled by this muzungu [Swahili for white] woman. She is ordering them what to do. We are getting closer to them.’

The massacre began on Saturday shortly before midday local time. Witnesses told how terrorists, their faces hidden with Islamic scarfs, stormed the shopping mall and started tossing grenades and spraying shoppers with AK-47s.

The gunmen ordered all Muslims to leave before carrying out rudimentary tests to see if hostages could recite the Koran and name the mother of the Prophet Mohammed.

Terrified shoppers fled and hid in storerooms, restaurants and a cinema, with the wounded being carried out in shopping trolleys.

Shoppers who were able to prove they were Muslim were among the 1,000 who escaped unharmed, while those who failed were shot for being ‘kafir’, a derogatory term for non-Muslims. One man, who hid in a box of cartons, said: ‘If they had found me … I’m white and so I’m dead. They hate your skin colour.’

Those killed so far vary in age from two to 78.

A spokesman for Al Shabaab, the East African arm of Al-Qaeda, said all Britons in Kenya are ‘legitimate’ targets because the UK has supported the African country’s military intervention in neighbouring Somalia.

The Twitter account purporting to belong to the terrorist organisation also said ‘there would be no negotiations whatsoever’.

The siege of the Israeli-owned mall bears all the hallmarks of Muslim-convert Lewthwaite, 29, who is on the run in East Africa after Kenyan police foiled her plot to blow up a shopping centre and two hotels in Mombasa two years ago.

The Home Counties mother-of-four is now one of the main financiers and bomb-making tutors for Al Shabaab. A senior Kenyan terrorist official said last night: ‘I suspect this woman is behind this attack because she has been financing the activities of the Al-Qaeda cell in Mombasa.’

Last night British, US and Israeli security forces joined their Kenyan counterparts to try to regain control of the mall. There were unconfirmed reports that some hostages had been executed after attempts by the military to launch an assault on the roof.

Some claimed hostages were ‘shot and thrown out of the window’ of the building’s fourth floor.

Other attackers identified on the Twitter account were from Finland, Kenya, Somalia, Canada and America.

Last night, Al Shabaab spokesman Mukhtaar Robow told Channel 4: ‘The English know Somalis will not give up the fight.’

Prime Minister David Cameron described the assault as ‘absolutely sickening’.

President Barack Obama says the United States stands with Kenya against the “terrible outrage” of a shopping mall terrorist attack.
Obama says the United States is providing law enforcement assistance and all the help it can to deal with the tragedy.

Obama was making his first public remarks on the attack while meeting with Nigeria’s president on the sidelines of the United Nations Monday. Obama had called Kenya’s president over the weekend to offer condolences and support.

Obama said the attack shows the international community must stand against the “senseless violence” he said groups like al-Shabab represent.

 

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Kenya mall shoppers shot by ‘Foreign’ gunmen

Gunmen who attacked a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi were speaking in a foreign language and were seen executing a number of shoppers, an eyewitness says.
“They were not speaking Swahili. They spoke something that seemed like Arabic or Somali, but I’m not sure as I don’t speak those languages,” the witness, who only wanted to give his first name, Jay, said after fleeing the mall.

“I saw people being executed after being asked to say something,” he said, adding he had seen 11 dead bodies inside the mall.

Masked gunmen stormed the upmarket mall on Saturday and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least six, before holing themselves up in the complex with hostages.
Police were going shop-to-shop to evacuate terrified people from the Westgate, which is popular with wealthy Kenyans and expatriates and generally packed on weekends.
The attackers sprayed gunfire inside the four-storey mall, causing a huge panic before police units moved in to secure the compound’s exits and the situation evolved into a standoff.

“They have seven hostages, confirmed,” a police officer said at the scene as security forces were trying to secure a multi-screen cinema complex.

A reporter saw at least 20 people rescued from a toy shop on one of the upper floors of the mall.

Dozens of wounded, some of them bleeding children, were stretchered away from the mall.

A shop manager who managed to escape said at one point “it seemed that the shooters had taken control of all the mall”.

Shocked people could be seen running away from the Westgate centre clutching children while others crawled along walls to avoid stray bullets.

“The gunmen tried to fire at my head but missed. At least 50 people were shot. There are definitely many casualties,” mall employee Sudjar Singh said.

“I saw a young boy carried out on a shopping cart, it looked like he was about 5 or 6. It looked like he was gone, he was not moving or making any noise.”

Vehicles riddled with bullet holes were left abandoned in front of the mall as police instructed residents of the Westlands neighbourhood to stay away.

“Our officers are on the ground carrying out an evacuation of those inside as they search for the attackers who are said to be inside,” Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said.

“We have managed to evacuate some people to safety. We urge Kenyans to avoid the area as we pursue the thugs,” Kenya’s interior ministry said on Twitter.
The Westgate mall, which opened in 2007, has restaurants, cafes, banks, a large supermarket and a cinema that attract thousands of people every day and have made it a Nairobi landmark.

It is popular with the large expatriate community living in the residential neighbourhoods around it, including with foreign staff from the United Nations, which has its third largest global centre nearby.

Phonebloks Is A Stunning Idea For A Phone That Comes Apart Like Legos

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Dave Hakkens thinks the way people currently buy electronics is inherently wasteful. As soon as a new device comes out, the old one is tossed in the garbage or put on the shelf to collect dust. But the Dutch designer wants to change that with a Lego-like device in which parts of the phone, not the entire device, can be replaced.

“Every time I got a new phone I threw away so many good components, all those bluetooths, speakers, displays I’ve thrown out over the years just because one other component is broken,” Hakkens told the Huffington Post by email. “This felt like a real waste!”

So this week, Hakkens introduced his design for Phonebloks, a smartphone that has detachable components on its front and back so that everything from the processor to the camera can be easily upgraded without discarding the rest of the phone. The entire contraption is held together by a pegboard-style base, with a screen — also replaceable — mounted on the front.

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There would be one block for the camera lens, one for the battery, one for storage and so on. Those blocks would plug into the base, and the blocks, base and screen would be secured together with two screws. Because individual blocks can be replaced when they become outdated or simply break, Hakkens thinks electronic waste can be drastically reduced with such a phone.

“I wanted to have a phone where I could keep the good parts and replace the bad ones,” Hakkens told HuffPost. “Although the world of mobile phones is insanely complex I wanted to see if I could bring any help.”

As Hakkens explains in his video outlining the device (below), the phone can be customized to your personal preferences. If you take a lot of pictures, pop in high-resolution camera. If you need a lot of storage for music, get a larger storage block. The hardware would be built on an open platform, so anyone can create their own blocks.

The idea has gotten a lot of coverage and online support since the video was put on YouTube on Tuesday, and Hakkens is a bit surprised by the reaction. “I figured it would get some exposure, but this is just stunning,” he said. “So many wonderful mails, reaction and tweets!”

For now, Phoneblocks is just an idea, but Hakkens hopes the product can come to fruition. Using a service called Thunderclap, he is coordinating would-be Phonebloks enthusiasts to send out a message about the phone on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr on the same day, Oct. 29.

“Usually companies launch a product and consumers can buy it,” Hakkens says. “I wanted to see if I could do it the other way around.”

As of Wednesday, more than 81,000 people have signed up to send out this message. Hakkens will likely meet his goal of 100,000 people soon.

Nine men accused of raping girl of 14 walk free because of Twitter

Nine men accused of repeatedly raping a 14-year-old girl walked free from court after messages she posted on Twitter torpedoed the case against them.

The defendants heard the prosecution was being halted after the posts came to light just as the case was due to start.

The nine, some of who have been held in custody awaiting trial, were told the tweets meant there was ‘no longer a realistic prospect of conviction’.

It was not revealed what was in the archived messages ‘which were not publicly available’ and were overlooked because of confusion over the name of the account.

Judge John Bevan said: ‘It’s unfortunate this happened so late; it’s unfortunate some defendants have been in custody. But these are very serious matters and these have to be gone into.’

The men, aged between 21 and 30, were arrested on the back of a four-month police investigation and charged with 28 offences, including several rapes.

The attacks were said to have taken place at houses in London’s East End or in the back of cars.

Although the complainant, now 15, told prosecutors about her tweets, the Old Bailey was told they only ‘came to light through a side-wind’.

The Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘This new material concerned archived Twitter messages which were not previously known about and which undermined the prosecution case.

‘It was decided following this review that there was no longer sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction in this case.’

The men, who were arrested in a series of dawn raids in London in March, remained silent as Judge Bevan formally recorded not guilty verdicts.

As he left the courtroom, one defendant, Olanrewaju Sonde, 24, said: ‘It’s just a relief that this is finally over.’

Air Berlin’s epic luggage stuff up

324892-c477167c-15b9-11e3-bfe3-15bd677d882bHOW on earth could a passenger plane take off without a single piece of luggage?

That’s the question on the lips of 200 Air Berlin passengers, whose bags were reportedly left sitting at the airport when their flight took off, and then apparently vanished.

What’s more, nearly a month later the airline still doesn’t know where all the bags are, Slate.com reported.

The allegedly luggage-less flight AB 8109 took off from Stockholm bound for Berlin on August 9. Passengers have been complaining ever since about their lost luggage. While some bags were eventually returned, others remain unaccounted for.

Cue a social media meltdown.

Furious passengers have flooded the airline’s Twitter and Facebook accounts and even set up a Facebook group: ‘Airberlin 8109 Stockholm to Berlin – Where are our bags?!‘.

Its description reads: “We still can’t comprehend why the captain decided to take off before any pieces of luggage were loaded. We need support from Air Berlin – please get to the bottom of this. This isn’t one lost bag, it’s a whole plane of lost bags!”

Many say the airline has failed to deal with the situation and continues to ignore them.

On its Twitter account Air Berlin has been advising passengers to contact the lost and found department at the airport, but passengers say the department tells them to talk to the airline.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/air-berlin8217s-epic-luggage-stuff-up/story-e6frfq80-1226711324921#ixzz2dzyUJFfc