Duncan Bannatyne responds to reported sighting of world's most wanted woman at his North East hotel

Police are investigating a reported sighting of terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite, dubbed the 'White Widow'.
Police are investigating a reported sighting of terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite, dubbed the 'White Widow'.

A woman resembling one of the world's most wanted terrorists, Samantha Lewthwaite, has been spotted checking into a hotel owned by Duncan Bannatyne, according to reports.

Durham Police are said to be probing the sighting of a guest resembling the infamous terror queen, who was once married to July 7 bomber Germaine Lindsay, arriving at the four-star Bannatyne Hotel in Darlington, County Durham.

Mr Bannatyne tweeted: “lady in question checked out on Boxing Day & police have her car registration & our CCTV image so why warn her?”

In a previous tweet he criticised a newspaper for using his name in a story about the sighting. He wrote: “Why let a true story get in the way of a headline?”

The woman's likeness to the bomb-making mother-of-four, who was dubbed the "White Widow", aroused suspicion as she checked in at the hotel, part of the Dragons' Den star's leisure group, on Boxing Day.

A hotel spokeswoman said "police are looking into it [the sighting]", but declined to comment further.

Lewthwaite, 32, is currently on a list of high profile targets being hunted by Interpol after she was linked to a series of bloody attacks in Africa.

She is thought to have fled Britain for Africa before joining militant group al-Shabaab following the 2005 attacks in London.

Dubbed the world's most wanted woman, she is said to have been involved in a series of atrocities, including the 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi and the Garissa University College massacre in April last year. Over 200 were killed in the attacks.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Lewthwaite has used the alias Natalie Webb, and took the Muslim name Sherafiyah Lewthwaite when she converted to Islam as a teen.

She is the subject of a Red Notice by Interpol, who issued the international arrest warrant at the request of Kenyan authorities.