The ideology that led this woman to become a hardened killer should be examined, understood thoroughly, and opposed. If it were anything other than what it is, that would be unquestionable. If she were a member of any other group, its teachings and tenets would be discussed in the media and scrutinized closely. But because she is a Muslim, no one stops to ponder even for a moment what made her into a killing machine. To ask that question would be “Islamophobic.”
White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite has murdered 400 people after becoming a key figure in jihadist terror group al Shabaab.
The 32-year-old mother of four’s atrocities include last month’s slaughter of 148 by gunmen at a university in Kenya, say security chiefs.
One told the Mirror in the Somalian capital, frequently bombed by al Shabaab: “This lady sits at the right hand of the leader directing attacks.”
She has been rapidly promoted through the ranks of al Shabaab after many of its leaders died in drone attacks.
The London University graduate was quickly recognised as intelligent and evil-minded enough by jihadi terror bosses to be trusted with the most horrific atrocities.
A senior Somali anti-terror officer says Lewthwaite is now at the right hand of al Shabaab leader Ahmad Umar and is suspected of ordering the deaths of more than 400 innocent people.
He said: “She is an evil person but a very clever operator.”
Lewthwaite, of Aylesbury, Bucks, is believed to have directed terror raids, suicide attacks and car bombings in Somalia and Kenya, as well as masterminding last month’s slaughter of 148 people, by gunmen at a university in Garissa, northern Kenya.
She has also launched a recruitment drive of teenagers and women as suicide bombers after bribing their desperate families with as little as £300.
One London resident blew herself up at a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu in February killing 25.
And Lewthwaite is believed to have sent brain-washed boys as young as 15 to their deaths as suicide bombers – after they were pumped full of heroin.
The top officer at Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency – who we are not naming to protect his identity – added: “The lady has moved up the ranks. She is one of the most important figures in the terror group.
“We think this lady is sitting at the right hand of the leader directing attacks.
“She does not carry out attacks herself as she is too important but is responsible for many, many deaths – hundreds.
“She uses children to kill for her after giving money to their families.”
But he says the world’s most wanted woman is now facing the same fate as her dead former jihadist leaders. NISA operatives are working with MI6 to capture her, dead or alive.
The Somali spy chief added: “We share all our information with British agents here in Mogadishu. They are here to keep an eye on the lady and other Britons in Somalia.
“The SAS are ready to get her or we are ready to call in a drone strike against her. We will get her eventually.
“We know she has surrounded herself with other Britons, her own people as her Somali language is not so good. They are her lieutenants and bodyguards.”
Lewthwaite, whose dad is a former soldier who served in Northern Ireland, is the widow of Germaine Lindsay – one of the London 7/7 suicide bombers.
She fled Britain in the wake of the 2005 attacks that killed 52 and has been on the run for nearly four years after she and British terror suspect Jermaine Grant, 30, plotted to blow up tourists in Mombasa.
The fanatic has been accused of being one of the masterminds behind the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi where 67 people, including five Brits, were murdered by al-Shabaab in 2013.
Interpol issued a Red Notice warrant for Lewthwaite and security services in 200 countries are hunting for her.
It is thought she has changed her appearance through plastic surgery, dying her hair and loing two stone.
She narrowly escaped death in March when she had just left a terrorist camp that was bombed by a US drone attack in March.
Kenyan jets have also bombed camps in Somalia where she was hiding.
The Somali officer added: “The lady does not sleep in the same place twice. She moves around all the time.”
It is thought she is hiding out near the town of Haaway in southern Somalia which is an al-Shabaab stronghold. Local villagers have been warned not to approach the area by the Islamic extremists.
Last summer The Mirror revealed that the White Widow married again to al Shabaab warlord called Hassan Maalim Ibrahim, aka Sheikh Hassan.
Al Shabaab is an Al Qaeda offshoot based in Somalia which still controls a fifth of the lawless country despite military setbacks against 10,000 African Union peacekeepers known as Amisom.
The extremists are fighting to impose strict Islamic law in Somalia and have banned football, dancing, music and even mobile phone ring tones.
Amisom have driven them out of towns and cities and obliterated much of their leadership with drone attacks and bombing raids.
An Amisom source revealed: “Lewthwaite comes to Hassan when she wants to hide out. She is protected in no-go areas by his clan and she often poses as a camel herder. She is dressed all in black robes and gloves so her white skin does not give her away.”
It is thought she only sees her children rarely and does not take them with her on the run.”
Captured terror boss Zakariye Ismail Hersi offered to betray the White Widow in January after he was captured.
He revealed she had been hiding out in the jungles of Ras Kiyamboni near the Kenyan border.
A suicide squad of up to 15 fighters often guard her. Two months she ago was seen with 25 women recruits in the city of Harard here in northern Somalia after crossing the sea by dhow from the Yemen.
Lewthwaite is also feared to have helped plan last month’s attack on a university in Garissa, Kenya. Gunmen stormed the university and shot 148 Christian students dead.
If they could not recite the Koran they were executed.
Cynthia Charotich, 19, told how she drank body lotion and hid in a cupboard for two days to escape the bloodbath.
Another student Eric Wekesa said: “What I managed to hear from them is ‘We came to kill or finally be killed.’ That’s what they said. “It was horrible, there was shooting everywhere.”
Kenya’s security forces fear twisted Lewthwaite is on a revenge mission against Kenya after they killed her mentor – Sheikh Abubakar Shariff was killed in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa.
She had lived in a safe house there where The Mirror found her terrorist manifesto.
The hand-written ‘Diary of Death’ revealed she had brainwashed young radicals for a Holy War against the West. It is thought brutal Islamic State executioner Jihadi John was on his way to meet the White Widow when he was arrested at an airport in Tanzania in 2009.
Mohammed Emwazi Al-Shabaab gunmen also ambushed a bus in November in Kenya and murdered 28 non-Muslims.
Kenya is now planning to build a wall across its border with Somalia to try and stop attacks.
In February al-Shabaab released a video featuring an extremist with an English accent calling for terror attacks against London’s Oxford Street and Westfield shopping centre.
He called on followers to “hasten to heaven” with a suicide attack similar to the Westgate massacre.
It is also thought brutal Islamic State executioner Jihadi John was on his way to meet the White Widow when he was arrested at an airport in Tanzania in 2009.
Security services think Mohammed Emwazi had been due to travel to Kenya to become a disciple of Lewthwaite before he then travelled to Syria to unlease his reign of terror.