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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.

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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Lewthwaite becomes more withdrawn after parents separate in the 1990s.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.


Enters college


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

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.

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.