Nick Name: Asmantara, Sherafiyah, Natalie Webb, White Widow, Sherafiyah Lewthwaite
Birthday: December 5, 1983
Died At Age: 30
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Also Known As: Samantha Louise Lewthwaite
Born in: Banbridge, United Kingdom
Notorious As: Suspected Terrorist
Spouse/Ex-: Hassan Maalim Ibrahim (m. 2014), Germaine Lindsay (m. 2002–2005)
father: Andrew Lewthwaite
mother: Elizabeth Christine Lewthwaite
siblings: Allan Lewthwaite, Sabrina Lewthwaite
Died on: November 12, 2014
education: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Who was Samantha Lewthwaite?
Samantha Lewthwaite, better known as the White Widow, is a terror suspect and a member of terrorist organizations, such as Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda. She is the widow of the mastermind of the London blasts, referred to as 7/7. She was born into a Christian family, but later converted to Islam. Samantha was convicted of possessing many fake international passports which she had used for her transits. On many instances, she had even used her children to keep her undercover life behind closed doors. Samantha works for the intelligence unit of all major terror groups. Many confiscated belongings of her, including documents and writings indicate her role in making and supplying bombs for various terrorist groups. The Interpol has issued a Red Notice against her as she is one of the most wanted terrorists in the world. Samantha is still on the run and is believed to be guarded by Al-Qaeda.
Childhood & Early Life
Samantha was born on 5 December, 1983 in Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland. Her father, Andrew Lewthwaite, is a former army soldier who was posted in the ninth and twelfth Royal Lancer cavalry regiments. Her mother, Elizabeth Christine Lewthwaite, is of Irish Catholic origin. Samantha has a brother, Allan Lewthwaite, and a sister, Sabrina Lewthwaite.
Soon after Samatha’s birth, her family moved to Aylesbury, England. After attending Elmhurst Middle School and The Grange Secondary school, she went to the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London to study politics. But she dropped out of the university and soon abandoned her Christian heritage before converting to Islam at the age of 18. Her name was changed to Sherafiyah.
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The White Widow
Samantha met Germaine Lindsay, one of the convicts of the London blasts, in a campaign rally post the 9/11 attacks. Lindsay too had converted to Islam and had acquired the name, Abdullah Shaheed Jamal.
They got married in October 2002. Samantha registered the marriage by using the name Asamantra, and soon gave birth to a baby boy. Her first daughter was born after the London blast in July 2005.
During the trial of London blasts, it was proved that Jamal was behind the attack and subsequently Samantha was convicted of being indirectly involved in the act of terror. She was labeled as the White Widow, referring to her British origin and for being the wife of a suicide bomber.
On July 7, 2005, a bomb went off in a train at the Parsons Green Station and Samantha made it to the headlines right after the blast. The attack killed 30 passengers and left several wounded.
The Scotland Yard investigation suggested a direct involvement of Jamal and Samantha was taken into custody. Initially, she denied the charges but later confessed and revealed to the officers that Mohammad Siddique Khan, the lead planner behind the blast, is an acquaintance.
Right after the London blast, Samantha opened up to public about her direct connection with the Somalia-based terror group, Al-Shabaab. She was seen with the wife of Musa Hussein, an Al-Shabaab militant, before flying to Somalia, where the headquarters of the group is located. She is reportedly being sheltered by the group in Lower Shebelle, Southern Somalia, which is an integral part of Al-Shabaab.
She was convicted of working within the intelligence unit of the group. She was also charged for instructing other women to work as spies in order to obtain information from governmental agencies. The women trained by her would disguise themselves as street sellers or hotel workers and would obtain confidential information. The obtained information was passed on to Samantha who would then pass it on to other senior Al-Shabaab members.
In 2008, Samantha fled to South Africa where she met and married her second husband Fahmi Jamal Salim. He is also a terrorist, belonging to the same group.
When officials raided her abandoned house, a few fake passports were found which she had used to travel. She had forged her identity as Natalie Faye Webb. In August 2011, she once again used a fake passport to travel to Kenya.
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Samantha’s frequent travel to Kenya made her the prime suspect of a grenade attack at a bar in Mombasa, Kenya. The bar was attacked on 24 June 2012, leaving three dead and 25 injured even as they were watching a Euro Cup football match.
She was reported to be seen near the Jericho Beer Garden just before the attack. People claimed that she had stored guns and bomb-making materials in a house nearby. But she managed to escape before officers could arrest her. Another British man named Jermaine Grant was also proven guilty.
A year later, Samantha was accused of spearheading an attack on the tourists who were traveling to a wildlife safari at the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya.
Samantha was declared the world's most wanted female terror suspect. A Red Notice was circulated by the Interpol on charges against her and her current husband, Habib Saleh Ghani.
The notice was circulated to all the 190 Interpol member countries. After the circulation, Interpol Secretary, General Ronald K. Noble, asked Kenya to activate a global network that would act as a trap to nab Samantha.
Samantha is also accused of being a financier and planner of a terror attack in Mombasa.
Police raided some of the houses in which Samantha stayed while she was in Mombasa. They found a diary that had the details on how to lead a life as the wife of a suicide bomber. They also found a sum of 3.4 million Shillings in a five bedroom house in Shanzu, Mombasa.
An official document shows that she used her South African alias Natalie Faye Webb while renting the Nairobi apartment with her children. The apartment was adjacent to another shopping center, the Junction shopping mall, which British intelligence believe was a potential target of Al-Shabaab. A rental document stated that she paid nearly £500 a month for the flat, despite having no apparent income.
Police had also recovered some handwritten notes inside her house which revealed that she was raising her children to be jihadis.
A love poem written by her to Osama bin Laden was also found. It was a 34-line poem that displayed her affection towards the then Al-Qaeda chief.
Suspected Presence in Lamu
Samantha’s ex-husband, Ghani, whose nickname is Osama, was suspected of having kidnapped a French woman named Marie Dedieu from her beachfront home in Manda Island, Lamu, Kenya. However, the police believe that this could’ve been a decoy to transport Samantha out of Kenya.
Rumors of Death
A report issued by the Russian News Agency, Regnum, in November 2014 said that Samantha was shot dead by a sniper in East Ukraine. She was supposedly gunned down by pro-Russian rebel forces. However, no pictures of her dead body were released. Also, no document indicated that she was in Ukraine at that time.
A contradictory report claimed that Samantha entered Ukraine under a false name and was deployed as a sniper in the Donetsk region.
Later, these reports were quashed after Samantha was spotted with her jihadist husband, Marco Costa, an Al-Qaeda suspect. A selfie of Samantha, clicked in her home, was also released to contradict the rumor.