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10/28/2013

"White Widow" Mystery Deepens

Samantha-Lewthwaite-010 Samantha Lewthwaite as seen on a fake South African passport.   AFP / GETTY IMAGES

 

The search continues for Samantha Lewthwaite, nicknamed the "white widow" for her marriage to bomber Germaine Lindsay, who killed 26 people when he blew up a train in London’s Underground on July 7, 2005.

While Lewthwaite's whereabouts remain unknown, the stories about where she has been just keep coming.

Britain's dogged press has relentlessly covered this story since her name emerged in connection with the deadly attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall. Interpol issued a "red notice" concerning Lewthwaite on Sept. 26, but did so at the behest of Kenyan authorities for "conspiracy to commit felony" in an unrelated 2011 event. It is uncertain if Lewthwaite was involved in the Westgate attack.

What we do know, thanks to Sky News, is that Lewthwaite at one point wrote an ode to Osama bin Laden: "Oh Sheik Osama my father, my brother. My love for you is like no other."  

The Telegraph's reporting duo of Mike Pflanz and Aislinn Laing also revealed details concerning the birth of Lewthwaite's fourth child. Apparently she paid cash to deliver in a posh suite at a private clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Not exactly abiding by Al Qaeda's pledge to eschew Western luxuries.)

Along with Damien McElroy, Pflanz and Laing also reported Sunday that Lewthwaite was given a British passport in February 2011, months before she disappeared. She was linked to a bombing plot in Mombasa, on Kenya's coast, later that year. She also received a fake South African passport in 2011, the paper reported, which she used to update her Kenyan tourist visas.

Kenyan authorities may not be able to find the elusive 29-year-old, but Britain's press is hot on the trail.

 

Michelle Shephard is the Star's National Security correspondent and author of "Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism's Grey Zone." She is a three-time recipient of Canada's National Newspaper Award. Follow her on Twitter @shephardm

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