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Hawks eye al-Shabaab

File photo: Al-Shabaab soldiers.

File photo: Al-Shabaab soldiers.

Published Sep 25, 2013

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Johannesburg - The Hawks are aware of the activities of Somali militant group al-Shabaab, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

“We do have a project that we are working on relating to the activities of al-Shabaab,” said Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko.

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However, he added that the Hawks were “not at liberty to comment on what is happening in Kenya”.

He said the Hawks project involving al-Shabaab had been going on for “quite some time”.

Associated Press reports that al-Shabaab is the Somali militant organisation which has claimed responsibility for the attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall which has left at least 61 civilians dead, as well as six security officers and five attackers.

On Tuesday, home affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said South African officials were prepared to work with Kenya in determining the validity of a South African passport linked to a female British member of al-Shabaab involved in the mall siege.

Media reports have suggested the woman was Samantha Lewthwaite, dubbed the “white widow”, who was married to Germaine Lindsay, one of the London suicide bombers.

A photograph of the apparently fake South African passport in the name of “Natalie Faye Webb” has been published widely. - Sapa

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