MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — A court in the coastal city of Mombasa Wednesday sentenced a British national, who authorities say is an extremist who plotted attacks against the country, to nine years in prison for attempting to illegally acquire Kenyan identification documents.
Justice Martin Muya said Wednesday the prosecution has proved that Jermaine Grant had attempted to illegally acquire a birth certificate, a Kenyan identification card and a primary school leaving certificate. The high court found Grant guilty after the prosecution appealed a previous acquittal.
Authorities believe Grant was part of a cell with another British national, Samantha Lewthwaite, that was planning attacks over Christmas 2011. Lewthwaite is the widow of Jermaine Lindsay, one of the bombers who took part in the July 7 2005 attack on London that killed 52 people.
Grant is completing a three year jail term for immigration offenses and lying to a government official about his identity. He is also charged with conspiring to commit a felony and possessing explosive materials. His Kenyan wife, whom he married just 24 hours before his arrest, has also been charged. The group was allegedly collaborating with Kenyans sympathetic to the al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab.
Al-Shabab has been blamed for a wave of attacks in Kenya that have killed at least 471 people, in retaliation for Kenyan troops crossing into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the militants.
Authorities suspect Lewthwaite was working with Musa Hussein Abdi, the Kenyan man who was shot dead with East Africa’s al-Qaida boss Fazul Abdullah Mohammed in Somalia in June 2011.
Anti-terror police found a British woman — believed to be Lewthwaite — in Abdi’s house in Dec 20 2011 but let her go after being fooled by the fake South African passport she carried in the name of Rachel Faye Webb. Police went to Abdi’s house while retracing the steps of Grant, said police officials.
This story has been corrected to show the right spelling of the names of Jermaine Grant and Jermaine Lindsay, instead of Jermain. The story was also corrected to show that a planned attack was to happen over Christmas 2011 not 2012.
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