Al-Shabaab: Women not part of Westgate attack
01 October 2013, 08:00
Nairobi - The Al-Shabaab militants insisted on Monday
that no women joined them in an attack on Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi,
dismissing speculation that British "white widow" Samantha Lewthwaite
took part in the massacre.
"We once again openly declare that no woman was
involved at Westgate," al-Shabaab said on Twitter, reiterating it had a
policy of "not employing sisters for such missions".
"A week after Westgate, the government and
Western intelligence officials failed to uncover the facts and details of the
Westgate Operation," it added, playing up an apparent lack of information
on the attackers and details of how the massacre was planned and carried out.
"The government is still chasing its tail by
holding on to the hopeless notion that a woman led the attack," the group
said in another Twitter post.
The four-day bloodbath at the upmarket shopping mall, which
Kenyan forces brought to an end on Tuesday, left at least 67 people dead. The
Kenyan Red Cross said Monday that 39 more were still missing.
Lewthwaite, a 29-year-old Muslim convert, was married to
Germaine Lindsay, one of four suicide bombers who attacked the London transport
network in July 2005, killing 52 people.
The mother-of-three has been on the run in East Africa for
around two years and is wanted by Kenyan police for alleged involvement in a
separate terror plot.
Interpol issued a "red notice" arrest warrant for
Lewthwaite on charges of possessing explosives and conspiracy to commit a
felony dating back to December 2011.
Kenyan officials have given contradictory statements about
whether a British woman may have been involved in the attack.