By now you may have heard of the "White Widow," a British fugitive and mother of four who is suspected as one of the masterminds behind the terrible Westgate Mall massacre in Nairobi. At least 39 people are dead and more than 300 are wounded. While the 29-year-old woman, whose name is Samantha Lewthwaite, is well known in Great Britain, this is the first time most Americans have heard a thing about her.
As investigators continue to question and look into the role Lewthwaite may have played in this tragedy, here are some facts about the "White Widow" that you need to know.
Lewthwaite, who is an Irish native and the daughter of a British soldier, has been on the run for eight years. Her husband, Jermaine Lindsay, a British Muslim, was one of four terrorists who detonated four bombs in a suicide attack aboard London Underground trains, killing 52 people and injuring more than 700. Some reports say she converted to Islam as a young woman, while others claim she converted after her husband's suicide. She has been hiding out since 2005 with her four children.
Signs of potential trouble brewing around Lewthwaite popped up in 2011. Kenyan police raided an apartment that was believed to be rented by the "White Widow" and found chemicals similar to those used in the London subway bombings. She was reportedly an influential figure in East Africa and recruited members for Al Qaeda.
Terrorists from Al Shahab, which is a Somali cell with ties to Al Qaeda, have taken responsibility for the mall massacre, but the group has also reportedly praised the "White Widow" on Twitter for her involvement in the attack.
Survivors of the mall massacre have reported that a Caucasian woman wearing a white veil, believed to be Lewthwaite, was among those orchestrating the capture of hostages. She has reportedly been killed by Kenyan military forces.
Which details about the mall massacre are most surprising to you?
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