The white woman said to be boss of Kenyan terror cell

A photo of a fake South African passport of Samantha Lewthwaite released by Kenyan police in December 2011. There has been serious speculation that Samantha, known as Dada Mzungu (White Sister) by the Al-Shabaab and nicknamed The White Widow by the British press, could have been the ringleader and mastermind of the Westgate Mall massacre. PHOTO/FILE.

What you need to know:

  • And, get this, she has lived among Kenyans for years now.
  • But now the name of the 29-year-old Irish woman who became a teen convert from Roman Catholicism to Islam has rapidly become the object of serious speculation.
  • Could the woman Al-Shabaab calls Dada Mzungu (White Sister) and the British press nicknamed ‘The White Widow’ actually be the ringleader and mastermind of the Westgate Mall massacre?
  • One British journalist has a source within the Kenyan security forces — he insists on anonymity — who claims the Kenyan police had been hot on Samantha’s trail for quite some time.
  • Samantha herself is an active tweeter, as are other Al-Shabaab terrorists who, in spite of their first Twitter account being shut down by authorities, managed to quickly replace it with a new account.

Few Kenyans had ever heard the name Samantha Lewthwaite before that fateful Saturday morning last week when terrorists, who subsequently identified themselves as Al-Shabaab fighters, attacked the upmarket Westgate Mall in Westlands, Nairobi.


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