1. This is 29-year-old Samantha Lewthwaite, also known as the “White Widow.” She is an alleged member of the Somali radical Islamic militant group al-Shabab. She is also an international fugitive wanted by Interpol.
2. The daughter of a British soldier, Lewthwaite grew up as a normal kid in Aylesbury, England. As a teenager, while attending private school, she became interested in the Muslim religion and converted to Islam.
4. The media dubbed Lewthwaite the “White Widow” after Lindsay blew himself up in the July 7, 2005, terrorist attack at London’s King’s Cross subway station, killing 56 people. She was eight months pregnant with their second child at the time of his death.
5. Following the 7/7 attack, Lewthwaite cut ties with her family and disappeared. She was being investigated for possible involvement in the London bombing, which she denied any connection to. Lewthwaite and her children later resurfaced in Africa.
7. In 2012, anti-terrorist police in Kenya issued a warrant for a Caucasian woman with a strong likeness to the White Widow under the name “Natalie Webb,” who was known to have used a forged South African passport.
8. Following the attack on Kenya’s Westgate Mall, reports indicated that a white woman was among the terrorists that stormed the shopping center, killing at least 67 people. Lewthwaite was initially rumored as one of three terrorists killed in the attack.
9. The Somali terrorist group with ties to Lewthwaite, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the three-day attack on Westgate. British TV reported that al-Shabab praised the White Widow on Twitter, claiming she was involved and still alive.
10. al-Shabab then tweeted this in response to those reports about White Widow’s involvement in the Kenya attacks.
HSM hereby categorically denies the involvement of any woman in Operation #LindaUislamu at #Westgate Mall. #عملية_نيروبي
— HSM_PR (@HSM Press Office)
11. On Thursday, Interpol, which has targeted the White Widow for her alleged connection to past terrorist plots, issued a Red Notice, or internationally wanted persons alert, for Lewthwaite at Kenya’s request.