LONDON: One of the UK’s most wanted terrorists, Samantha Lewthwaite, is believed to be in Yemen fighting government forces, The Sun has reported.
“Lewthwaite’s last known location is Yemen,” an anonymous source told the British newspaper.
Lewthwaite — also sometimes known by her “White Widow” moniker — has been linked to a slew of terrorist attacks in the UK, Africa and the Middle East.
Her husband was one of the suicide bombers who attacked London on July 7, 2005, killing 56.
Lewthwaite, 37, was linked to a 2013 attack in Kenya that saw five Britons and 66 others killed.
Security services also believe her to be behind other atrocities, including the 2015 killing of nearly 150 people by Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab in Kenya, The Sun reported.
Its source said: “Trying to get intelligence there is as tough as in Syria when the IS (Daesh) regime was at its height. There’s virtually no Western presence in Yemen because it’s so dangerous. And in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it’s assumed she’s alive and being supported by extremists.”
She is now understood to have recruited female suicide bombers in Yemen for attacks against government forces, paying their families around $4,000 per attack.
Lewthwaite is also thought to have recruited boys as young as 15 for suicide attacks, plying them with drugs, including heroin, in order to carry them out.
An Interpol Red Notice warrant was issued for her arrest after the 2013 attack in Kenya, but her capture has proved difficult as she has been moving from Africa to the Middle East working alongside terrorist organizations.
Lewthwaite converted to Islam as a teenager after being exposed to the teachings of extremist cleric Trevor Forrest, who was jailed and subsequently deported to Jamaica for inciting hatred and supporting terrorist groups, including Daesh.