Worldwide warrant out for Yorkshire’s ‘white widow’

Pictures from Interpol of Samantha Lewthwaite
Pictures from Interpol of Samantha Lewthwaite
Have your say

AN international arrest warrant has been issued for British terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite, who lived in West Yorkshire and was married to one of the July 7 bombers.

Interpol said it was issuing the “Red Notice” for the arrest of Lewthwaite - dubbed the “White Widow” - at the request of the Kenyan authorities.

Pictures from Interpol of Samantha Lewthwaite

Pictures from Interpol of Samantha Lewthwaite

The warrant relates to charges of being in possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011.

Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble said: “By requesting an Interpol Red Notice, Kenya has activated a global ‘tripwire’ for this fugitive.

“Through the Interpol Red Notice, Kenyan authorities have ensured that all 190 member countries are aware of the danger posed by this woman, not just across the region but also worldwide.”

Lewthwaite was married to the July 7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay was involved in the atrocity which has claimed more than 60 lives. Lindsay grew up in Huddersfield but was living in Aylesbury with Lewthwaite at the time of the bombings.

Pictures from Interpol of Samantha Lewthwaite

Pictures from Interpol of Samantha Lewthwaite

There has been intense speculation linking Lewthwaite, 29, to the Nairobi shopping mall attack by Islamist militants from the al Qaida-linked al Shabab group.

The Kenya authorities have said forensic experts are working to establish if any of the attackers was female after receiving reports that a British woman was involved.

Lewthwaite - who has lived in Bradford and Huddersfield and is believed to use the alias “Natalie Webb” - had previously only been wanted at national level for the possession of a fraudulently obtained South African passport.

Mr Noble said her case highlighted the “invisible threat”’ posed by terrorists and criminals travelling internationally using illicit passports.

“Every year hundreds of millions of individuals are boarding international transport and crossing borders without having the authenticity of their travel or identity document checked,” he said.

“This dramatically compromises our ability to effectively screen and identify at airports and land crossings those individuals who could be suspected criminals and terrorists.”

Lewthwaite is the daughter of English soldier Andy Lewthwaite, who met and married Irish Catholic Christine Allen while serving in Northern Ireland during the 1970s.

She enjoyed an unremarkable childhood in Banbridge, Co Down, before moving to Aylesbury at a young age. In 1995 her parents split.

After converting to Islam at 17, Lewthwaite changed her name to Sherafiyah and married Lindsay, with the couple having three children together.

Lindsay went on to detonate the bomb at King’s Cross tube station, killing 26 people in July 2005.

At the time Lewthwaite claimed to have been horrified by the killings but in 2009 disappeared with her three children and only resurfaced two years later after travelling to Kenya on a false passport.