SECOND UPDATE 4:10PM EST: The body of a “white woman terrorist” has been found at the scene. So possibly Lewthwaite was there after all.
UPDATE: New reports say that Samantha Lewthwaite is not among the Kenya jihad mass murderers.
In the lengthy profile of Samantha Lewthwaite below, there is no curiosity whatsoever about how this convert to Islam, or her fellow jihad warriors, came to think that Islam required what David Cameron insists has no justification in Islam. No one ever seems to wonder about that at all.
“Terror raid ‘led by white widow’: Gang mastermind in veil barked orders at gunmen in mall massacre that left three Britons dead,” by Rebecca Evans, Paul Bentley and Andrew Malone for the Daily Mail, September 22:
The terror attack on a Kenyan shopping centre that has left 68 dead was being led by the white English widow of a 7/7 bomber, it was claimed last night.
Soldiers said a white woman wearing a veil was shouting orders to gunmen in Arabic during the bloody massacre inside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.
Islamist terror group Al Shabaab claimed it carried out the atrocity in which three Britons were killed and 175 people were left injured.
It said last night on Twitter that Samantha Lewthwaite, the “˜white widow” of London 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay, was “˜in their ranks” and a “˜brave lady”.
Fifteen hostages were still trapped inside the shopping centre after more than 24 hours of carnage.
The attack saw men, women and children slaughtered if they could not recite the Koran or name the mother of the Prophet Mohammed.
As well as boasting Lewthwaite was with them, Al Shabaab claimed two British men from London, Liban Adam, 23, and Ahmed Nasir Shirdoon, 24, were among the “˜holy warriors” in the attack.
The group is said to be highly organised, with huge amounts of ammunition as well as night vision equipment.
They have destroyed CCTV cameras inside the shopping mall, meaning they cannot be watched.
With horrific cruelty, they have reportedly cut the hands off the bodies of their victims and burned their faces to try to conceal their identities.
Or maybe they cut off their hands in accord with this Qur’anic directive: “[Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, ‘I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip'” (8:12).
Writing on Twitter, the terrorists said: “˜Sherafiyah lewthwaite aka samantha is a vrave [brave] lady! were [we are] happier to have her in our ranks!”
Sherafiyah is the Muslim name now used by Lewthwaite.
Another tweet read: “˜our mujahideen are prepared to die for our cause!”
Last night the terrorists were closed into the second and third floors of a storage warehouse in the mall.
Soldiers claimed to have taken control of the ground and first floors.
One said: “˜It is all being controlled by this muzungu [Swahili for white] woman. She is ordering them what to do. We are getting closer to them.”
The massacre began on Saturday shortly before midday local time.
Witnesses told how terrorists, their faces hidden with Islamic scarves, stormed the shopping mall and started tossing grenades and spraying shoppers with AK-47s.
The gunmen ordered all Muslims to leave before carrying out rudimentary tests to see if hostages could recite the Koran and name the mother of the Prophet Mohammed.
Terrified shoppers fled and hid in storerooms, restaurants and a cinema, with the wounded being carried out in shopping trolleys.
Shoppers who were able to prove they were Muslim were among the 1,000 who escaped unharmed, while those who failed were shot for being “˜kafir”, a derogatory term for non-Muslims.
One man, who hid in a box of cartons, said: “˜If they had found me… I”m white and so I”m dead. They hate your skin colour.”…
This man is the only one to make such a claim, while there are numerous witnesses who say they freed Muslims but targeted non-Muslims.
“Why the white widow is the prime suspect,” by Andrew Malone on the same page:
…The idea that Lewthwaite might have led the assault herself is not far-fetched at all.
Having converted to Islam as a young woman and married a man who went on to be a 7/7 London suicide bomber, she has become a key figure in the terror group behind this weekend’s attack. Lewthwaite has even been involved in training a group of all-female suicide attackers at camps in lawless neighbouring Somalia.
It is an extraordinary, macabre journey into darkness for the 29-year-old, who grew up as a normal teenager in Aylesbury before meeting Jermaine Lindsay, a British Muslim, in an online chat room when she was 17. The pair married three years later.
When her husband was named as one of four suicide bombers who blew up Tube trains and a bus in 2005, killing 52 people, Lewthwaite initially condemned her late husband’s attack and denied any knowledge of his plan.
This was a lie. More than eight years later, Lewthwaite is one of Al Qaeda’s main recruiters in East Africa and is an official spokesman for Al Shabaab (The People), the terrorist group behind the horror in Nairobi.
As well as railing against “˜infidels in the West”, Lewthwaite had previously used a Twitter account to denounce a rival foreign terrorist in the text-speak of a teenager.
“˜Fyi [for your information] sam lewthwaite thinks u r a irritating obnoxious contemptible little Muj PRAT,” she wrote. (“˜Muj” is a contraction of mujahideen — a jihadist).
The object of her anger was Omar Shafik Hammami, a former student from Alabama. Last week he was shot dead in an ambush by terrorists loyal to the White Widow. “˜May his fate serve as a lesson to all those who want to follow in his footsteps as a poster boy for jihad,” Lewthwaite wrote gleefully on Twitter.
To add to her name for ruthlessness, the White Widow did not mention in her tweets that a British man reputed to be her second husband was also killed in the ambush.
Her fearless reputation within Africa’s growing Islamic terror network has been strengthened by her own involvement as a mujahid — or warrior — during a series of bombings and shootings in Kenya’s tourist areas.
Known to her devoted followers as dada muzungu — Swahili for white sister — Lewthwaite moved to Kenya with her three children in 2007.
A small, dumpy woman, she cut off all links with her family in Britain and became immersed in East Africa’s Islamic terror networks, forging links with other British fanatics who had come to Kenya to wage “˜jihad” against non-believers. It was last year that details of Lewthwaite’s secret new life emerged in grisly detail.
A white woman, later identified as Lewthwaite, had led a group of terrorists who fired grenades into a bar in Mombasa, the Kenyan coastal tourist resort popular with Britons. Three people, including a child, were killed and more than 50 injured.
In truth, I was deeply sceptical when news was first leaked two years ago about the White Widow’s alleged role as a terrorist with the group now causing carnage in Nairobi.
Yet now, having spent time among her acolytes in the Islamic stronghold where she once lived near Mombasa, and in briefings with police, prosecutors and senior investigators during subsequent investigations in Nairobi, I have no doubt that Lewthwaite is a cold-blooded killer and a dangerous ideologue.
Senior officers in Kenya have told me they will kill her on sight. So far, however, she has avoided arrest by wearing all-concealing Islamic dress as she has flitted between Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania….