The widow of one of the London suicide bombers was financing a terrorist attack in Kenya, it has been claimed.
The allegation was made as Jermaine Jhon Grant, a Briton, appeared before a court in Mombasa, accused of plotting a bomb attack. Jacob Ondari, for the prosecution, said the Muslim convert had been helped by Samantha Lewthwaite, the 28-year-old widow of Germaine Lindsay.
"It is our belief that she [Ms Lewthwaite] is connected with Grant and that they were working together. She is believed to be the financier of the whole thing," Mr Ondari said.
She has been implicated in the alleged plot by several witnesses who claim they saw Grant and a woman they believe was Ms Lewthwaite in Mombasa in November and December last year. It is thought that others may have also been involved, though it is unclear whether they were also British. The money she provided is thought to have paid for the rent of various safe houses used by the group while they were allegedly conspiring to carry out their attack, sometimes paying months in advance.
Grant sat in silence as he appeared in court yesterday. The 29-year-old is accused, with three Kenyan co-defendants including his wife, Warda Breik Islam, 19, of plotting an explosion aimed at killing civilians. All the defendants deny all the charges.
The east Londoner was arrested in December after police raided the house where he was staying and found hydrogen peroxide and ammonium nitrate, as well as batteries and switches – ingredients, the prosecution claims, for a bomb.
The first witness, Hassan Mohammed, said he helped the Briton to find a Kenyan wife, adding that Grant had lied to him about his identity and nationality. Grant is already serving a jail term for being in Kenya illegally.
Ms Lewthwaite, whose husband blew himself up on the London Underground Piccadilly line on 7 July 2005, killing 26 people, is wanted by the Kenyan authorities after disappearing last year.
She went missing after she was found by police in the home of the widow of an al-Qai'da operative who was killed in Somalia last year – where Ms Lewthwaite is now thought to be living.
She is alleged to have used a false passport bearing the name of a nurse from Essex, Natalie Webb, who had her identity stolen and played no part nor had any knowledge of the incident.
Grant, from Newham, was first detained in Kenya near the Somali border in 2008, but is accused of escaping custody with the help of a group of Islamist militants belonging to the Islamist insurgents al-Shabaab.
He has been charged separately in a Nairobi court for this escape and for with robbery with violence, but denies the charges. The trial has been adjourned until 15 August.