Thursday, September 26, 2013

Who is Samantha Lewthwaite, the prime suspect in the Nairobi terror attack?



SAMANTHA Lewthwaite has emerged as a prime suspect behind the bloodshed in Kenya but who is the 29-year-old woman thought responsible for so much carnage?
Dubbed the 'White Widow' by Britain's media, the mother-of-four has emerged as the prime suspect in the Nairobi massacre.
The widow of suicide bomber Jermaine Lindsay, Lewthwaite is believed to have ordered the Nairobi attack or even led it herself.
Soldiers said a white woman wearing a veil was shouting orders to gunmen in Arabic during the bloody massacre inside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, the Daily Mail reports.
As soldiers closed in on the terrorists, one said the scene is "all being controlled by this muzungu [Swahili for white] woman. She is ordering them what to do. We are getting closer to them".
Some survivors say a veiled woman was commanding the al-Shabaab militants as they attacked people in the Nairobi mall while other survivors simply say saw a "white woman" among the hostage-takers.
Police have told reporters that they are still investigating the possibility the woman may have been a hostage dressed in one of the terrorists' clothes as a "decoy" during the attack which saw Kenyan authorities regain control of most of the four-storey shopping mall.
However Kenyan anti-terror police revealed yesterday that Lewthwaite may be the brains behind the operation to bring terror to the heart of Kenya, the Daily Mail reports.
Samantha Lewthwaite with one of her four children.
Samantha Lewthwaite with one of her four children. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied
A Kenyan police source told The Mirror in London that Lewthwaite, now a key member of al-Shabaab, "is target number one" in their investigation.
Al-Shabaab, the militant group which has claimed responsibility for the slaughter, used its official Twitter account @HSM_Press, before it was suspended, to praise Lewthwaite.
"Sherafiyah lewthwaite aka Samantha is a vrave [sic] lady! were happier to have her in our ranks!" they tweeted.
Sherafiyah is the Muslim name now used by Lewthwaite. She is also known to her devoted al-Qaeda fanaticals as dada muzungu which is Swahili for 'white sister'.
Lewthwaite - who has been on the run for years, flitting between Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania - has avoided arrest by wearing all-concealing Islamic dress.
So how did a bright English girl who loved to gossip about pop music and fancied David Beckham end up marrying a 7/7 bomber and becoming one of the most feared female terrorists in history?
'White Widow' Samantha Lewthwaite feared to be behind Nairobi shopping mall massacre.
'White Widow' Samantha Lewthwaite feared to be behind Nairobi shopping mall massacre. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied
Lewthwaite, the daughter of a British soldier, apparently grew up as normal teenager from a middle-class family in from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire in South East England.
Her dad Andy, 57, was also a builder. Her brother Allan is a carpet fitter. Her family last year said they hadn't seen her 'for years'.
She studied religion and politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in Russell Square, London.
When she was 17 she met Jamaican-born British Muslim Lindsay. The Jamaican-born carpet-fitter who grew up in Huddersfield, West Yorks.
Lewthwaite converted to Islam at 18 and married Lindsay two years later, in 2002, in an Islamic ceremony at a terraced house in Aylesbury.
Her family did not attend her wedding to Lindsay, who went on to become one of four suicide bombers who blew up Tube trains and a bus in central London, killing 52 people.
At the time Lewthwaite denied any knowledge of her husband's plans and police, who believed she was innocent, granted her protection.
She reintegrated herself with her family so well that in 2007 her dad took the whole family to Disneyland Paris, according to The Mirror.
The couple's first child, Abdullah, is now eight. Their daughter was born two months after the bombings.
According to the Daily Mail, Lewthwaite moved to Kenya with her children in 2007, cutting ties with her family in Britain, and became immersed in East Africa's Islamic terror networks.
It is believed she joined al-Qaeda in 2008.
She is known to have trained a group of female suicide bombers in Somalia and has been serving as an official spokeswoman for al-Shabaab.
She returned to the UK to give birth to her third child, son Abdur-Rahman Faheem Jamal (Lindsay's Muslim name), at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 2009. She used the name Asmaa Shahidah Bint-Andrews.
Not much was known about Lewthwaite's movements after that but last year the Daily Mail reported that Lewthwaite was believed to have spent time in South Africa and war-torn Somalia before arriving in Kenya in March 2011 using a forged passport.
They also believe she owned three houses in Somalia and was training people to make explosives there.
Recent story in the UK's The Sun newspaper. Picture: Supplied.
Recent story in the UK’s The Sun newspaper. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied
Then in December 2011 police swooped on a rented Mombasa apartment she shared with London-born Jermaine Grant after being tipped off that the pair were allegedly planning to bomb Kenyan beach resorts.
When Grant was arrested, he allegedly opened up about Lewthwaite to police and told them that her and her husband Habib Ghani had escaped with their children.
When the apartment was raided police found a haul of fuses and 60 rounds of ammunition, including three magazines of bullets for AK-47 rifles under a sofa. They also found automatic rifles, drums of chemicals used by suicide bombers, a laptop and her diary.
In it she said she wanted her children to be suicide bombers.
An intelligence source told The Mirror that agents are studying information provided by Grant, who is accused of possessing explosives and conspiring to carry out bomb attacks.
The Daily Mail reports that in January 2012 police raided another five-bedroom villa, surrounded by a 12ft-high wall, and found more than 60 AK-47 magazines stuffed into a septic tank and a smashed-up laptop.
Police believe the house was chosen because of its proximity to two hotels popular with Britons and Americans, which may have been potential targets, they reported.
The landlord Nelson Korir said the tenant fled after paying Pound700 in rent for three months.
"She had been living there with a man since November 17. They were very private and wouldn't allow the villa's staff into the compound," he told the Daily Mail last year.
In June 2012 Lewthwaite was identified as the woman who had led a group of terrorists to fire grenades into a Mombasa bar, killing three and injuring 50.
She allegedly fired a grenade launcher into the bar, which was full of football fans watching the euro 2012 match between England and Italy on June 24.
According to the Daily Mail, Lewthwaite is now one of al-Qaeda's main recruiters in East Africa and is an official spokesman for Al Shabaab (The People), the terrorist group behind the horror in Nairobi.
"As well as railing against 'infidels in the West', Lewthwaite had previously used a Twitter account to denounce a rival foreign terrorist in the text-speak of a teenager," the Daily Mail reports.
Lewthwaite is also suspected of being involved in a series of bombings and shootings in Kenya's tourist areas and has been linked to attacks on the Dorchester and Ritz hotels in London.
A source has told The Mirror "Lewthwaite is the most wanted female terrorist in the world".
"She has managed to evade capture for two years but she may have finally been killed."
The source added that Lewthwaite may have plotted the slaughter with the al-Shabaab terror group in revenge for the capture of her right hand man, The Mirror reports.
Interpol, the CIA and detectives from Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command are all involved in finding her.

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Who is Samantha Lewthwaite, the prime suspect in the Nairobi terror attack?

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Samantha Lewthwaite: was the 'White Widow' at Westgate mall?

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Reports a 'pale-skinned' woman was among the attackers reignite speculation about British terror suspect

LAST UPDATED AT 13:20 ON Wed 25 Sep 2013
THERE IS renewed speculation that British terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite – the woman dubbed ‘The White Widow’ – was among the militants who attacked a Nairobi shopping centre.
The Islamist group Al-Shabaab insists there were no women among the gunmen who killed more than 60 people at the mall. But one of the survivors of the attack has told Kenyan police she was shot at by a “pale-skinned” woman, The Sun reports.
Meanwhile, The Mirror says Lewthwaite is still suspected of being the “mastermind” behind Saturday’s attack. The paper has obtained pictures of the fake passport it says the 29-year-old Briton used to enter Kenya with her three children. The document carries Lewthwaite’s photograph but bears the name of a British nurse called Natalie Faye Webb.
The collapse of three floors of the Westgate shopping centre means it may be some time before the identities of the terrorists killed in the attack are established. There are also rumours that some of the militants may have escaped by putting on clothes taken from hostages.
The Sun says the witness who claims she was shot at by a white woman is a craft store worker who was hiding beneath a trolley when a “pale-skinned” woman fired a volley of bullets at her from a balcony. The terrified woman, identified only as Caroline, said: “She was high up, but close enough that I saw her looking along the floor where I was until she saw me. She aimed at me and opened fire. The bullets did not hit me. I don’t know how that happened.”
Lewthwaite’s notoriety – and the suggestion she may have been involved in the 7/7 attacks in London as well as the slaughter at the Westgate mall – has “torn her family apart”, says The Mirror.
Her father, Andy Lewthwaite, is a soldier who served in Northern Ireland during the 1970s at the height of the Troubles. A neighbour in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, where the family lives, said: “For him to imagine his own daughter is involved in this is very painful.”
Meanwhile, Samantha Lewthwaite’s grandmother, Elizabeth Allen, was admitted to hospital yesterday with heart problems. The 85-year-old from Banbridge, County Down, is “too ill to cope with this”, a neighbour said. "Her health is poor and continuing to fail as a result of the pressure and all the news reports about her granddaughter.”

Samantha Lewthwaite: is she among Al-Shabaab dead? 24/09/2013

THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Kenya's foreign minister that a British woman was among the terrorists killed by security forces in the Nairobi shopping centre siege yesterday has fuelled speculation that Samantha Lewthwaite played a role in the drama.
Known as the 'White Widow', Lewthwaite was married to the July 7 bomber Germaine Lindsay, who blew up an Underground train at King's Cross in 2005, killing 26 people. She was already wanted in Kenya on terror charges.
Kenyan troops now claim to have taken control of the Westgate shopping centre following the three-day al-Shabaab siege, which left at least 62 people dead, including six Britons. A further 170 were injured and 69 are still missing.
Kenya's foreign minister, Amina Mohamed, claims a British woman was involved in the attack, alongside "two or three" Americans. The woman, she said in an interview with PBS, had "done this many times before".
The British Foreign Office has said it cannot rule out the possibility that the 29-year-old Lewthwaite was involved, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Known to her followers as 'dada muzungu' - Swahili for 'white sister' - Lewthwaite moved to Kenya in 2007 with her three children and cut ties with her British family.
She has been on the run in East Africa for the last two years, after allegedly firing grenades into a Mombasa bar full of football fans, killing three and injuring 50.
In March last year, officials said she had fled to Somalia and security forces were hunting a woman who used several identities, including hers. She is believed to have trained a group of female suicide bombers in Somalia and has been serving as a spokeswoman for al-Shabaab.
The image of Lewthwaite as a terrorist suspect cuts a very different figure from that depicted in the press after the London bombings seven years ago.
The daughter of a British soldier from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, Lewthwaite was reportedly hit hard by her parents' separation when she was 11 and converted to Islam as a teenager. She met Lindsay online when she was 17 and married him in 2002.
Following the 7/7 bombings, she claimed she was "horrified" by the atrocities. Years later, the 7/7 inquests revealed that she had gone with her husband to visit Mohammad Sidique Khan, a veteran jihadi and ringleader of the London bombers. But it was not established how much, if anything, she knew at the time. · 

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CORRUPTION. A photo of the fake SA passport of Samantha Lewthwaite, the widow of suicide bomber Jermaine Lindsay who blew himself up on a London Underground train in 2005, killing 26 people. She may be in the terrorist cell behind the Nairobi mall massacre.

The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) said the red notice, which is an internationally wanted person alert, was issued at the request of Kenyan authorities.
“By requesting an Interpol red notice, Kenya has activated a global ‘tripwire’ for this fugitive,” Interpol secretary general Ronald K Noble said in a statement.
“Through the… red notice, Kenyan authorities have ensured that all 190 member countries are aware of the danger posed by this woman, not just across the region but also worldwide.”
She was wanted by Kenya on charges of being in possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011. A picture of a South African passport with Lewthwaite’s photo and the name Natalie Faye Webb was distributed by Kenyan police.
Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said the passport was fraudulently acquired. ”It [the passport] was investigated and reported on in 2011. It was cancelled at the time as it was found to be acquired fraudulently,” she told reporters in Pretoria.
Pandor said further investigations had to be done into the acquisition of the passport and how it was issued. ”What we need to do is look at the applications office and check who processed it and how that person met the requirements to be granted a passport.”
Noble said Lewthwaite’s case underlined the “invisible threat” posed by terrorists using illicit passports. ”Every year hundreds of millions of individuals are boarding international transport and crossing borders without having the authenticity of their travel or identity document checked,” he said.
“This dramatically compromises our ability to effectively screen and identify at airports and land crossings those individuals who could be suspected criminals and terrorists.” The 29-year-old woman was nicknamed the “white widow” after the death of her husband Germaine Lindsay, who was one of the four bombers involved in the July 7 attacks in London in 2005.
Al-Qaeda affiliated group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack at Nairobi’s Westgate mall on Saturday. Attackers held the mall for four days in a siege in which at least 67 people were killed.
It has been speculated that Lewthwaite was involved in the attack.


It will take a rocket scientist to put this jigsaw puzzle into perspective.


Let's hope she is not dead so that she can stand trial for her actions.

Interpol should have put this terrorist on the 'Wanted List" while Jackie Selebi was still president of INTERPOL.


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