What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Samantha Lewthwaite, created by Newslines contributors. Help it grow by finding and summarising news. Learn more

Samantha Lewthwaite

Samantha Lewthwaite18 posts

Samantha Lewthwaite, christened “The White Widow” by the media, is the widow of one of the 7/7/2005 London suicide bombers and now one of the most wanted terrorists in the world. Born in County Down, Ireland, in 1983, she moved to Buckinghamshire, England, as a young girl and converted to Islam after her parents separated in 1990s. In 2002, she married Germaine Lindsay, whom she had met in London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. After Lindsay killed 26 people in a suicide attack in July 2005, she first denounced the attack publicly and then disappeared, resurfacing in Africa in 2008 using a stolen identity. She has been associated with several members of terrorist group al-Shabaab. In February 2012, Kenyan police issued an arrest warrant against her for association with a group suspected of planning a terrorist attack in Mombasa, as well as for passport fraud. Those charges were also filed in an Interpol red alert notice in September 2013, but Lewthwaite still remains at large.

Dec 2011

Linked to terrorist cell, escapes

Radicalized Briton Jermaine Grant is arrested in Mombasa on charges of possessing bomb-making materials in connection with a planned attack on tourists over Christmas 2011.  Grant rents a expensive house near a string of luxury hotels, and Lewthwait lives there.  Police question but don’t arrest her, believing her to be an innocent tourist.  She then disappears, possibly fleeing to Somalia.

Jul 2008

In South Africa under stolen identity

Enters South Africa as Natalie Faye Webb, using a fraudulently obtained passport.  Works as an IT specialist at a halaal pie factory in south-west of Johannesburg, racking up big loan and charge card debts.  Later described as a quiet woman who keeps to herself, she lives in Mayfair, a Muslim area, keeps a post office box in nearby Brixton, and leases property in a suburb across town.  Between now and February 2011, when the passport is placed on a stop list, she enters and leaves the country several times.


Enters college

Enrolls in the School of Oriental and African Studies in Russell Square, London, for a degree in religion but leaves without graduating.


Converts to Islam

Lewthwaite becomes more withdrawn after parents separate in the 1990s.  She starts confiding in a local Muslim family and converts to Islam in her teens, taking the name Sherafiyah and wearing the hijab.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Samantha Lewthwaite, created by Newslines contributors. Make it grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more