Sunday, December 8, 2013
By Cassandra Vinograd / The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
The Associated Press / Interpol
Officials at first said they were looking for someone using her identity – then later said they were looking for her. They alleged that Lewthwaite and other foreigners traveled to Kenya in late 2011 to plan a bomb attack on the Kenyan coast over the Christmas holidays.
Authorities said Lewthwaite — who was pregnant by her new Kenyan husband — was in charge of finances for the planned attack, and suspected she had rented several houses in upmarket areas in Mombasa to assemble a bomb.
The group was allegedly collaborating with Kenyans sympathetic to al-Shabab, the Somalia-based al-Qaida affiliate that has claimed responsibility for the Kenyan mall attack.
Kenyan anti-terrorism police suspected Lewthwaite was working with Musa Hussein Abdi, who was shot dead with an al-Qaida boss in Somalia in June 2011. In December 2011, they found a woman they believed to be Lewthwaite in his house but let her go after she showed them a South African passport.
Police later realized the passport was fraudulent and returned to the house, but she was gone.
Officials believe she fled to Somalia that same month. They have accused her of plotting to break an alleged accomplice out of jail in Kenya. Since then, it also has emerged that she spent time in South Africa before popping up on Kenyan authorities' radar.