Police in Britain and Kenya are investigating links between an Irish woman branded the “White Widow” and the shopping mall siege in Nairobi that has claimed 69 lives so far.

County Down born terrorist Samantha Lewthwaite is suspected of involvement in the attack.

Kenyan soldiers stated a white woman with a veil was calling out orders to gunmen in Arabic during the dreadful massacre at Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

Al Qaeda linked terror group, Al Shabaab, claimed responsibility and wrote on Twitter that Samantha Lewthwaite, the “White Widow” of London 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay, was “in their ranks” and a “brave lady”.

The 29-year-old from Banbridge is on the run from the Kenyan authorities after she was previously linked to a terrorist cell that planned to attack a hotel or shopping mall in 2011.

CCTV footage from the Nairobi mall shows a female hostage taker, wearing a balaclava and holding a gun.

Dozens of people are still being held hostage at the mall by up to 15 gunmen.

Lewthwaite is the wife of July 7 2007 London bomber Jermaine Lindsay. She was previously suspected of plotting to attack venues popular with westerners in Kenya and is currently in hiding after she was linked with al-Shabaab.

Kenyan government spokesperson Manoah Esipisu confirmed  that there were reports of a white woman among the hostage takers.

When asked if the woman was Lewthwaite, he replied “Nothing is being ruled out.”

Here's the latest report from Nairobi: