Wednesday 17 January 2018

'White Widow' remarries into top al-Qa'ida family

'White Widow' Samantha Lewthwaite
'White Widow' Samantha Lewthwaite
'White Widow' Samantha Lewthwaite

Mike Pflanz Nairobi

SAMANTHA Lewthwaite, the "White Widow" of one of the London July 7 bombers, later married into a Kenyan family connected to one of al-Qa'ida's most notorious commanders in East Africa, it has been revealed.

Her new sister-in-law's husband was Musa Dheere, who was shot dead at a roadblock in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, alongside Fazul Mohammed, the mastermind of terror attacks on Kenya's coast in 2002 that were among al-Qa'ida's earliest raids.

Lewthwaite, whose first husband was the July 7 attacker Germaine Lindsay, is charged with plotting a bombing campaign across Kenya at Christmas 2011. When Kenyan police broke up her terror cell on December 19 that year, she was so close to the family of her new husband, Fahmi Jamal Salim, she fled to their home.

She met Salim, a Kenyan, with whom she is thought to have the two youngest of her four children, in South Africa in 2008. They were introduced to each other by Abdullah al-Faisal, a radical Muslim hate preacher who had previously been imprisoned for four years at Long Lartin prison on Worcestershire.

Lewthwaite visited him on several occasions while he was still in jail, despite the authorities apparently being aware of their respective backgrounds. Mr al-Faisal told a BBC Panorama documentary about Lewthwaite, due to air on Wednesday, and that he arranged her marriage to the Kenyan because he "knew her taste".

She wanted a "young man of a different race, preferably the black race, who was very handsome and very strong in the Muslim faith", Mr al-Faisal said.

The couple are believed to have lived in South Africa where Salim ran a medical supply business in Brixton, Johannesburg. Both Lewthwaite and Salim travelled to Kenya on faked South African passports in 2011. Kenya's National Intelligence Service named them as members of a terror cell that planned to bomb the parliament in Nairobi, the UN headquarters in the city, and an Ethiopian restaurant popular with Somali politicians.

Lewthwaite and Salim escaped as police closed in on them and she is thought to be in hiding in southern Somalia, sheltered in territory controlled by al-Shabaab, an al-Qa'ida affiliate. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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