When many people hear the word “terrorist,” they automatically associate it with “male.” Why? It’s because there are not many terrorists outside of that demographic. But what if I told you that the most wanted western terrorists at this time was actually a British white woman?
Currently 38 years old, Samantha Lewthwaite was born in Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland. Her father Andrew was a soldier in the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and met Elizabeth Christine, Samantha’s mother, while stationed in Northern Ireland. They moved to Aylesbury, England after Samantha’s birth.
When the couple divorced in 1994, it was said that Samantha was messed up about it and began to spend more time with her Muslim neighboors and officially converted by 17, thinking that they had strong family ties. Afterwards, she adopted the name “Sherafiyah.”
Samantha started to reach out to other Muslims via a chat room. There she met a man named Germaine Lindsay and arranged to meet him at a Stop the War March in Hyde Park, London. Eight days after Germaine divorced his first wife, he married Samantha, where they used the names “Asmantara” and “Jamal,” without Samantha’s parents attending because they could not accept their daughter converting to the Muslim faith. Six months later, their first child was born.
Fast forward three years later to when the unthinkable happened.
On July 7, 2005, Germaine and three other men boarded a full London Underground train and blew themselves up, killing 26 and injuring more than 700 in the process. According to Mohammad Sidique Khan, another one of the bombers, in a video that surfaced on September 1st of that same year, the motivation was revenge. He is quoted to say the following:
“I and thousands like me are forsaking everything for what we believe. Our drive and motivation doesn’t come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer. Our religion is Islam, obedience to the one true God and following the footsteps of the final prophet messenger. Your democratically-elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support of them makes you directly responsible, just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters. Until we feel security you will be our targets and until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people, we will not stop this fight. We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.”
Two months after the bombing, Samantha Lewthwaite gave birth to her second child. At the same time, she claimed to be disgusted by Germaine’s actions and had no knowledge about what he was going to do.
While telling her story, people were quick to point out the discrepancies in it and even went so far as to accuse her of romanticizing Germaine’s story, describing him as a “relatively recent [convert]” who had been “tricked into his actions by extremists”.
The law is clear that you cannot profit off your crimes, but at this point, Samantha was not a criminal.
That was all about to change.
Several things came to light:
Samantha had said that she had no knowledge of the attack but it was proven later that she did indeed have correspondence with Mohammad Sidique Khan.
She didn’t report Germaine as missing for six days after the bombing.
After the SunPost interview, Samantha went into hiding and is now on the run.
Her diary was found in 2011, which celebrated Jihad, a struggle or fight against the enemies of Islam.
She had several passports with different names.
The people that she associates with are wives of terrorists and the terrorists themselves.
A laptop and a flash drive were recovered in 2013 that contained “The Mujahideen Explosives Handbook” and “Ode to Bin Laden”, which was a poem written by Samantha as an homage to Osama Bin Laden.
She is also linked to two other terrorist attacks (at least). At the time, her picture was everywhere, and since her appearance was much different than those around her, Samantha sticks out.
In July 2012, a bar called Jericho was blown up using a grenade, which killed three and injured 25. Several people who were in the bar that night describe the attacker as a woman who wore a full burqa, had bright blue eyes, and white skin.
A year later, the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi was attacked by Al-Shabaab, killing 71 and injuring 200. Samantha is suspected of being involved but this has never been proven.
In recent developments, it is confirmed that she left her fourth husband and fled to Somalia. Somalia is known for being Al-Shabaab territory. It is rumored that she has had surgery to alter her appearance, paid female suicide bombers, and has sent male suicide bombers, some as young as 15 and high on heroin, to their deaths.
While there is not a conviction, it is common thought that she not only knew about the attacks but funded and organized it. Currently, she has warrants out for her arrest in several countries and is considered very dangerous. Reported sightings always confirm she has as many as four children with her.