Kenya pays holiday for family after ‘white widow’ mistake
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 16 – An American family has been offered an all-expenses-paid trip to Kenya after their vacation was ruined by a policeman who mistook their 15-year-old daughter for an international terrorist.
A statement from the Kenyan government said the teenage holidaymaker was “harassed by police in Mlolongo”, outside of the capital Nairobi, “on accusations of looking like” British fugitive Samantha Lewthwaite.
It said Kenya’s interior minister, Joseph Ole Lenku, had announced that “the government will sponsor a fully-paid holiday for the family” as compensation and that police were also investigating the incident.
Lewthwaite, known as the “White Widow”, was married to Germaine Lindsay, one of four Islamist suicide bombers who attacked the London transport network on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people.
The 30-year-old Muslim convert has been linked to Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels, who have launched a string of attacks in Kenya including the assault on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that claimed at least 67 lives a year ago.
She is wanted in Kenya on charges of being in possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011, and is the subject of an Interpol “red notice” warrant for her detention issued at Kenya’s request.
There has been no confirmed sighting since she gave Kenyan police the slip in Mombasa in 2011, reportedly using her false South African passport, and last month Kenyan detectives hunting her said the trail had gone cold.