Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite may be using family as cover

Samantha Lewthwaite with Jermaine Lindsay
Samantha Lewthwaite with Jermaine Lindsay
'White Widow': Lewthwaite and another al-Qaida suspect in the photo taken at the Kenyan border
'White Widow': Lewthwaite and another al-Qaida suspect in the photo taken at the Kenyan border
Armed special forces aim their weapons at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya (AP/Khalil Senosi)

The Northern Ireland-born woman who has been declared the world's most wanted female terror suspect may be using her children to avoid detection.

Samantha Lewthwaite, dubbed the White Widow, was born and spent much of her childhood in Banbridge, before moving to Aylesbury and later converting to Islam.

She married 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay – who blew himself up on a London Underground train in July 2005. She had two children with him and is mother of a third child, whose father is not known to authorities.

As Interpol issues a 'Red Notice' for terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite, making her the most wanted woman in the world, she may have split up her children to avoid being identified.

She has a girl and two boys and it is thought that this would make her more recognisable.

Lewthwaite is believed to be the mastermind behind the atrocity that claimed over 70 people in the Kenyan mall massacre.

Witnesses claimed that a white woman appeared to be in charge of the terrorists, they said she shouted orders in Arabic to the gunmen in the Westgate Mall.

She is also held responsible for previous outrages as a leader of the al-Shabaab terror group.

New reports have emerged of a supposed lair in the suburbs in South Africa. Lewthwaite is thought to have lived there while plotting the Kenyan massacre.

They claim that the woman was always dressed head-to-toe in a hijab and that she lived there with her three children.

It is understood that the publicity surrounding Samantha Lewthwaite has deeply affected her Northern Ireland family.

Her grandmother Elizabeth Allen still lives in Banbridge. She has been given a panic alarm to contact security services in case her granddaughter made contact.

The elderly woman was hospitalised due to the stress but it is understood she was released .

UUP councillor for Banbridge Joan Baird, who knows the family, said: "It's very distressing for all the family and very distressing for the people of Banbridge.

"She came from a very good family and they have suffered enough as a result of all this."

Factfile

Samantha Lewthwaite was born in Banbridge, Co Down. She converted to Islam as a teenager and is the widow of one of the London suicide bombers. Dubbed the White Widow, mother-of-three is believed to be the mastermind behind the Nairobi Westgate mall massacre which claimed over 70 lives. A 'Red Notice' has been issued by Interpol making her world's most wanted female terror suspect.

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