By: Ted Jeory (Express.co.uk)
Suspicions have grown that Muslim convert Samantha Lewthwaite, now known as the White Widow due to her fugitive status in East Africa, was actually one of the masterminds behind the killings in 2005. Immediately after the explosions which murdered 52 people on the London transport system, she said she “abhorred” the actions of her dead husband Jermaine Lindsay, whose bomb detonated near King’s Cross on the Piccadilly Line.
However, the middle-class Muslim convert from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, has since risen to a senior status in the Al Shabaab movement in Kenya and Somalia, a terror group affiliated to Al Qaeda.
Believed to be behind its funding and propaganda, the 29-year-old has assumed cult status among her jihadi followers for her characteristic street-slang rants at non-Muslim “kuffar”.
An arrest warrant was issued for her last May after she failed to appear in court in Kenya to face bomb-making charges.
Her alleged co-conspirators are two other Britons, her second husband Habib Saleh Ghani, from Hounslow, west London and Jermaine Grant, from east London, who remains in custody in Kenya after his arrest in December 2011.
At the time of Grant’s arrest, he reportedly told police that Lewthwaite was “the boss”.
They are all accused of possessing chemicals and “conspiring to improvise an explosive device with the intent to cause harm to innocent civilians”.
The chemicals found in a raid on her home in Kenya in December 2010 included acetone and hydrogen peroxide, two of the key components of the terror attacks in London eight years ago.
A security source said: “That raises the prospect that Lewthwaite may have been more closely involved in the 7/7 attacks than previously thought. It might also explain her seniority as a top-rank Al Qaeda leader and the suspected chief financier of Al Shabaab.”
Lewthwaite is also a suspect for a grenade attack at a hotel bar in Mombasa, Kenya, in which three people were killed last June while watching an England football match on television during Euro 2012.
She has boasted of rearing children to become Mujahideen terrorists and is now one of the world’s most-wanted women.
She is thought to be behind a “press office” Twitter account for the Muslim Youth Centre, which distributes announcements exhorting violent jihad and has even called for the assassination of a fellow jihadi, US-born Omar Hammami, also known as Al Mansoor Al-Amiriki who angered former colleagues by saying violent Islamic struggle was failing in Kenya.
When confronted on Twitter last month by a journalist who suggested that the @MYC_Press account was being operated by Lewthwaite, the response was: “She’s back in Luton :). In Bedford we take no prisoners.”