Belfast Telegraph

White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite's jail visits to preacher Abdullah el-Faisal

By Joanne Fleming

A convicted hate preacher has revealed how he mentored the 'White Widow' – the world's most wanted female terror suspect who spent part of her childhood in Northern Ireland.

Hate preacher Abdullah el-Faisal said radicalised housewife Samantha Lewthwaite – who once lived an unremarkable life in Banbridge – visited him in jail.

The Co Down woman, who converted to Islam at the age of 18 after leaving Northern Ireland, is currently wanted in connection with a Kenyan bomb plot.

Fasail said that while he was in Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire in 2006, she was portraying herself as a grieving widow and appeared to be coping well. Lewthwaite had been married to Jermaine Lindsay, one of the four suicide bombers who killed 52 people in London on July 7, 2005.

"Surprisingly, when she came to visit me, she didn't seem like she was sad or she had the world on her shoulders," he said. "Because she lost her husband in the 7/7 bombings I would think she would be sad but when she came she looked jovial, she looked happy."

Fasail, who served four years of a nine-year sentence for inciting murder before being deported to Jamaica in 2007, claimed that Lewthwaite offered him books, clothing and money when he was in prison.

He said she was able to keep in close contact with him despite being under police protection when her home in Buckinghamshire was firebombed.

"We kept in touch by telephone on a regular basis when I was in prison," he said. "Women are better on the phone than men. Men, they are careless on the phone.

"And when I was in prison she looked after me to a certain extent. She always asked, 'Do you need anything?' because she's a very, very kind person."

Fasail also claimed that in 2008, while he was in South Africa, he tempted Lewthwaite to leave Britain with the promise of a new husband. He said he arranged for her to speak to Fahmi Jamal Samil, a Kenyan with major links to terrorism.

Six weeks later she left Britain with her two children to marry him. In 2011, reports suggested the couple travelled to Kenya to attack western targets. .

The White Widow: Searching For Samantha is on BBC1 on Wednesday at 10.35pm

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