A British tabloid, The Daily Star, has reported that security sources fear the Abuja bomb blast, which claimed dozens of lives on Monday morning, may have been planned by Samantha Lewthwaite as a revenge attack for the death of al-Shabaab terror chief, Makaburi, aka Sheikh Abubakar Shariff Ahmed, – Lewthwaite’s mentor – just two weeks ago.
She is already on Interpol’s Most Wanted list in connection with SEVEN murders as well as the siege of the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya in September last year which left 67 dead and nearly 200 injured.
She was known to be ‘extremely close’ to Makaburi, who coordinated the Westgate atrocity.
A senior security source said agents across Africa were on high alert after the assassination of Makaburi – reportedly by the UK and US funded Kenyan Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) 14 days ago.
The source said: “Makaburi was always believed to be at the very top of the hierarchy of terror organisation al-Shabaab.
“Intelligence suggests he introduced Samantha Lewthwaite to many influential figures within the al-Shabaab network.
He guided her on her path to Jihad.
“His murder was seen as yet another act of war.”
The source added that Lewthwaite and her associates “wanted revenge”.
Lewthwaite, 30, is believed to be in Nigeria, Kenya or Somalia, where Islamist terror networks are closely linked, making it far easier for her to evade detection than in Europe.
The world’s most wanted woman was reportedly caught at a checkpoint in Nigeria just six months ago – but managed to bribe her way to freedom.
It is thought she commands enormous loyalty and power as a white convert, female jihadist, having proved her worth in previous attacks.
‘The White Widow’, who has been on the run since January 2012, got her grim nickname after husband, Germaine Lindsay, blew up a London Tube train in the 7/7 bombings in 2005. Fifty six people were killed and more than 700 injured.
Interpol has issued a rare ‘Red Notice’ for the White Widow’s arrest.
Lewthwaite, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, is believed to have widely used the alias ‘Natalie Webb’ and travelled on a forged South African passport.
She is now officially being hunted by 190 countries and is one of the most wanted international fugitives in the world.
Police seized her laptop in 2011 and found detailed plans of how to build bombs and evidence she was planning multiple terrorist attacks both in Africa and the West.
She has also been linked to grenade attacks at non-Muslim places of worship in Africa and a terrorist attack on western football fans watching Euro 2012 in the Jericho bar in Mombasa.
Head of Interpol Ronald Noble said: “There is a global ‘tripwire’ for this fugitive.
“All 190 member countries are aware of the danger posed by this woman, not just across the region but also worldwide.”