The terror attack on a Kenyan shopping centre that has left 68 dead was allegedly being led by the white English widow of a 7/7 London terror attack bomber. Soldiers said a white woman wearing a veil was shouting orders to gunmen in Arabic during the bloody massacre inside the Westgate shopping mall.
Al Shabaab said last night on Twitter that Samantha Lewthwaite, the ‘white widow’ of London 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay, was ‘in their ranks.’. 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. Writing on Twitter, the terrorists said: ‘Sherafiyah lewthwaite aka samantha is a brave lady! 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!’
UK Daily Mail (h/t Maria J) Islamist terror group Al Shabaab claimed it carried out the atrocity in which three Britons were killed and 175 people were left injured. The Kenyan military claimed last night that ‘most’ of the hostages had been rescued but this morning a military spokesman admitted the fate of those held was still not clear. A military spokesman for al Shabaab told Reuters his group had nothing to fear. ‘Where will Uhuru Kenyatta get the power with which he threatened us?’ said Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab.
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.
Military helicopters circled over the mall at daybreak today, when about five minutes of sustained gunfire broke out at the mall. It is an indication that at least one of the estimated 10 to 15 gunmen who attacked the mall when it was filled with shoppers on Saturday was still on the loose.
A large military assault began on the mall shortly before sundown on Sunday, with one helicopter skimming very close to the roof of the shopping complex as a loud explosion rang out, far larger than any previous grenade blast or gunfire volley.
Officials said the siege would soon end and said ‘most’ hostages had been rescued and that officials controlled ‘most’ of the mall. But officials never said how many hostages had been rescued, and Kenya’s military spokesman on Monday was still not able to provide clear details.
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.
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. There was no indication of the fate of people whom the authorities had said on Sunday were being held by 10 to 15 gunmen – and possibly women – inside a large supermarket.
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.