Samantha Lewthwaite, popularly known as the white widow, is suspected to be taking part in various terrorist activities that took place in several parts of East Africa, especially Kenya. Lately, she is accused of masterminding the Westgate attack in Kenya which claimed more than 60 lives. Here are to lesser known facts about Samantha
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Samantha Lewthwaite
1.Samantha Lewthwaite is the daughter of a British soldier
She was born in Banbridge in Northern Ireland in 1983 and at a tender age she moved to Aylesbury in England. Her father was a soldier while her mother was an Irish Catholic. His father rarely understood her as he reported that he had no idea of the whereabouts of her daughter, but he believed she had been involved in terrorist activities in Kenya.
2. She converted to Islam at a tender age
A lot of people wonder why a British could engage in terrorist attacks. Samantha joined Islam when she was still a young girl and that was where she learned about Jihad. There are reports that she decided to switch to Islam because she was distressed about the divorce of her parents. When her parents divorced, she sought refuge from their Muslim neighbors where she learned that Muslim, conservatism could bring her comfort.
3. She is a college dropout also known as The White Widow
Samantha Lewthwaite obtained basic education in Buckinghamshire. Her dream to obtain a degree at the London School of Oriental and African studies was cut short when she dropped out of school.
4. Samantha Lewthwaite was married to a suicide bomber
Lewthwaite’s husband died in a suicide bomb attack in London. Her husband, Germaine Lindsay met her over the internet and they got married in 2002. Three years later, Lindsay carried out an attack (a suicide bomb attack) on an underground train which killed 26 civilians.
5. She is an alleged member of a terrorist group
Samantha Lewthwaite is said to be a member of the Al shabaab terrorist group which is affiliated to the Al Qaeda. She is said to play the role of a banker in the group. Sources reveal that she was the brain behind the Westgate attack in Kenya. In fact, some sources suggests that she participated in the killing of the civilians in the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.
6. Samantha Lewthwaite is wanted by police
Samantha Lewthwaite is in the list of wanted terrorists. The anti-terrorism police has carried out numerous raids in the houses that she is alleged to be living in and surprisingly evidence of her involvement in terrorist activities have been found. For example, a notebook containing a framework for guide to Jihad was found in one of her rented homes by the police. The document confirmed that Lewthwaite wanted her children to be holy warriors when they mature.
7. She has been based in East Africa for more than two years
Samantha set her foot in east Africa secretly. She is believed to have arrived in the region in 2011. The manner in which she got here is unknown. She uses a fake passport under the names, Natalie Faye-Webb, who is a South African woman.
8. It was reported that the White Widow was killed in the terrorist attack in Westgate
Samantha is believed to have been killed during the confrontation with the Kenyan soldiers at the Westgate Mall. However, the claims have been dismissed by Al-shabaab’s spokesperson who claimed that they don’t use women as fighters and the allegations that Samantha was among the attackers in Westgate was false.
9. She initially condemned her husband’s acts
In 2005, Samantha Lewthwaite came out to publicly condemn her husband’s terrorist activities which lead to the death of several innocent civilians. After the attacks (the 7/7 attacks) she explained that she was never involved in planning the attacks and that she had no knowledge of her husband’s bomb plan. She condemned the act but after a very short period of time, she was reported to have disappeared. Her disappearance led to the conclusion that she planned the attack with her husband.
10. She has secluded herself from her family
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has reported that Samantha Lewthwaite has cut herself from her close relatives. After fleeing the United Kingdom, she no longer communicate with any of her relatives. There are lots of issues that have been raised about Samantha. The issues continue to unfold each day especially in regions where terrorist activities are prevalent.