30 September 2013
South Africa’s Ministry for State Security says it continues to work with countries, not only in Africa but the rest of the world, to share critical information about terrorism threats.
“Terrorism is a global phenomenon which all countries take seriously, and as countries we partner to share information to thwart potential threats of terror,” spokesperson Brain Dube told SAnews on Monday.
This follows reports that Samantha Lewthwaite, dubbed the “White Widow”, is suspected to be behind last week’s bloody Westgate Mall terror attack in Kenya. The 29-year-old British woman allegedly used a South African passport under the name Natalie Faye Webb to enter Kenya.
The passport, which was obtained using fraudulent supporting documents, was later cancelled following an investigation by South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs.
Dube, who said he cannot comment on external claims regarding the country’s intelligence, said South Africa does its own assessments based on national interests which form the basis of state security.
“As government we remain vigilant and take these incidents seriously.” However, he could not detail the nature of the government’s continuing investigations due to their sensitivity.
The four-day siege in Nairbobi last week left more than 60 people – including a South African, James Thomas – dead and over 170 people injured. About 15 suspected Al Shabaab terrorists have been detained by the Kenyan government.
Although the Kenyan government has not officially or directly linked Lewthwaite to the attack, Interpol has issued a red notice for her arrest, urging all 190 member countries to assist in tracking her down and arresting her