'White Widow' Samantha Lewthwaite Linked To Kenyan Mall Attack In Nairobi Subject Of "Red Notice" By Interpol
On Thursday, at the request of Kenya, international police organization Interpol issued a "red notice" alert for Samantha Lewthwaite. Lewthwaite, dubbed the "White Widow" by media, is the widow of a 7/7 suicide bomber and has been linked to last week's devastating attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as charges of bomb-making dating back to 2011.
A "red notice" isn't an arrest warrant, but does flag to more than 190 countries that its subject is a wanted person. As authorities in Kenya sift through the aftermath of last week's storming of a Nairobi mall — a four-day siege that killed at least 61 people, at the end of which three stories collapsed — reports have suggested that Lewthwaite took part in the attack. The "red notice" doesn't refer to the Nairobi incident, as little has been officially established so far, but does warn that Lewthwaite had been suspected of making guns — though she vanished before officers could raid her home in 2011.
In 2005, four terrorists — three of Pakistani origin, one Jamaican, all living in the United Kingdom — denoted suicide bombs in four areas of the public transport system, predominantly the London Underground. 52 people were killed, and more than 700 were injured in the United Kingdom's first suicide attack. British-born Lewthwaite had converted to Islam and married Germaine Lindsay, one of the bombers, hence the "White Widow" nickname.
At the time, Lewthwaite publicly condemned the London attacks, calling them "abhorrent." Of her husband, she added: "How these people could have turned him and poisoned his mind is dreadful. He was an innocent, naive and simple man. I suppose he must have been an ideal candidate." It's speculated that she has since remarried, and has three or four children.
In 2011, authorities found bomb-making materials in her Kenyan apartment, but she disappeared before the planned raid. A senior Kenyan official has vouched that one woman was involved in the attack, but Al-Shabab, the organization that took responsibility for the attack and is the prime suspect, has said that there were no women involved. Lewthwaite is believed to be using the alias Natalie Webb.