The latest Netflix true-crime series to be released is World’s Most Wanted, which dropped on August 5. It features five notorious fugitives who have evaded capture despite being some of the world’s most wanted criminals. One episode focuses on Samantha Lewthwaite, a British fugitive and terror suspect sometimes known as the White Widow or Sherafiyah Lewthwaite.
In May 2015, Somali security chiefs said that Lewthwaite is responsible for over 400 deaths, the Telegraph reported. She is believed to be a key figure in the al-Shabaab terror organization, with one Somali intelligence source saying: “This lady sits at the right hand of the leader directing attacks.” Interpol issued a red notice arrest warrant for Lewthwaite in 2013.
The 36-year-old is the widow of Germaine Lindsay, a suicide bomber who killed 26 people in the July 7, 2005 suicide attacks in London. Lindsay was her first husband and the father of her two oldest children. Since his death, Lewthwaite’s name has been brought up in connection to other high-profile militants and many rumors are circulating about the identity of her current husband.
Although much about her life is unknown since she became an international fugitive, there is some information available about Lewthwaite’s relationship history:
There Are 2 Main Theories About Her Relationships After Lindsay’s Death, With Contradictory Information & Names
There are two overarching theories about Lewthwaite’s life after Lindsay’s death, and both have overlapping and contradictory aspects. The first involves her possible marriage to Abdi Wahid, a naval officer-turned-terrorist, and the second theory involves a possible marriage to Fahmi Jamal Salim. There are also mentions of a marriage to Hassan Maalim Ibrahim. It’s possible the truth lies somewhere in the middle of these reports.
Lewthwaite is known to have given birth to a third child in 2009, four years after her first husband’s death. The name of her third child’s father has not been provided. The Telegraph reported that Lewthwaite gave birth to a fourth child, a daughter, in 2010 at a private health clinic in South Africa. The outlet reported that former Kenyan naval officer turned terrorist Abdi Wahid was the father of the fourth child and was present at her birth along with Lewthwaite’s three other children.
The Mirror reported that Wahid left Lewthwaite to fight for al-Shabaab and in 2014, she married warlord Hassan Maalim Ibrahim, a senior al-Shabaab commander. The report states that it was her third marriage, after Lindsay and Wahid.
However, in a contradictory report, the Telegraph revealed in 2014 that her husband was Fahmi Jamal Salim, a Kenyan who is connected to a powerful al-Qaeda commander in East Africa. According to the outlet, Lewthwaite met Salim in South Africa in 2008 through a radical Muslim hate preacher named Abdullah al-Faisal. Sources believe that Salim is the father of her two youngest children.
Al-Faisal told the BBC that he arranged the marriage because he knew Lewthwaite wanted a “young man of a different race, preferably the black race, who was very handsome and very strong in the Muslim faith.” In 2011, the couple traveled together to Kenya on false identities, Lewthwaite as Natalie Faye Webb and Salim as Mark Costa. However, in an interesting twist, the alias Mark Costa was reported by the Telegraph to have been used by Wahid and not Salim.
The Guardian published an article in 2014 that said her second husband’s identity is disputed but sources believe he is Kenyan and the father of her third and fourth child. The outlet wrote that she had her third child in 2009 in a hospital in England and her fourth child in 2010 in Johannesburg. The article states, “latest reports suggest Lewthwaite may have made a third match” after her second husband died on a terrorist mission but did not provide the new husband’s identity.
There Are Other Conflicting Reports About Whether She First Remarried in England & If She Was Ever Married to Habib Ghani
A Sydney Morning Herald article makes reference to Lewthwaite remarrying in England shortly after the bombings and before leaving the country. The outlet writes that after the bombings, “She lost touch with her family and is believed to have moved to the Midlands, where she remarried a Muslim of Moroccan origin.” It also claims that Lewthwaite returned to England to give birth to her third child in 2009 before disappearing again.
Her name is also frequently linked to British bomb-maker Habib Ghani, of Middlesex, who died in Somalia in 2013. However, an anti-terror officer told the Telegraph that the two were never involved romantically. “Ghani is definitely connected to Samantha, but not in a romantic way, they were associates in the same cell in Mombasa that was intending to set off bombs in December 2011.”