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Briton arrested after Nairobi mall attack
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Briton arrested after Nairobi mall attack

25.09.2013 From our online archive
A British national has been arrested in Nairobi following the bloody attack on a shopping mall by armed Islamists, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

(AFP) A British national has been arrested in Nairobi following the bloody attack on a shopping mall by armed Islamists, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

"We can confirm the detention of a British national in Nairobi and we are making contact to offer standard consular assistance," she stated..

The spokeswoman declined to say whether the arrest was directly linked to the attack on the Westgate mall in which 67 people were killed.

The Foreign Office also declined to say if the person detained was a man or a woman.

Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said on Monday that a British woman was among the attackers, although this contradicted earlier statements from Kenyan officials who said they were all male.

The British Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are aware of these reports that a British national was among the terrorists and we're looking into them, but we are not going to speculate on that."

British newspapers have speculated that Samantha Lewthwaite, a 29-year-old British Muslim convert known as the "White Widow", was involved in the attack.

Lewthwaite, whose husband was one of the suicide bombers who attacked London's transport network in 2005, is wanted by Kenyan police for alleged involvement with Al-Shebab, the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali group which claimed responsibility for the Nairobi attack.

British intelligence chiefs have warned for some time about British Muslims travelling to Somalia and Yemen for terrorist training.

Jermaine Grant, a 30-year-old Muslim convert from London, is currently on trial in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa accused of ties to the Shebab and plotting attacks.

Grant was arrested in December 2011 in possession of chemicals, batteries and switches that prosecutors claim were intended to make explosives. It is suspected that he worked with Lewthwaite.

One of the two men facing trial for the brutal murder of a British soldier in London in May, Michael Adebolajo, was also arrested in Kenya three years ago but not charged.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced an end to the 80-hour bloodbath in Nairobi late Tuesday, with the loss of 61 civilians and six members of the security forces.

He said five attackers were killed and 11 suspects detained.