In a chilling cache of handwritten notes found by police, Muslim convert Samantha Lewthwaite – nicknamed the White Widow – describes how her eldest son and daughter were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up.
The children, then aged eight and five, both said last year that they wished to be holy warriors. Their answers inspired their mother to begin a book, a guide to Jihad, entitled I Want To Be A Mujahid.
It was their father and Lewthwaite’s first husband, Jermaine Lindsay, who carried out England’s worst terror atrocity. During the 7/7 bombings in 2005, he killed 26 people when he blew up a Piccadilly Line Tube train near King’s Cross.
Publicly at least, 28-year-old Lewthwaite, the youngest daughter of a British soldier who grew up in the Home Counties, denounced her husband. Then she disappeared.
Nothing was known of her whereabouts until earlier this year when it emerged that she had gone on the run after police foiled a plot to blow up Western tourist targets in Kenya. Last month it was revealed she is the prime suspect for a grenade attack on a Kenyan bar packed with tourists watching the Euro 2012 match between England and Italy. A boy was among the three dead.
Lewthwaite is believed to be in hiding with her second husband, British terror suspect Habib Saleh Ghani, who calls himself ‘Osama’ and is described by police as ‘extremely dangerous’.
When she made her ‘dua’ – a prayer to Allah for a suitable marriage – Lewthwaite writes that she asked for a man who would ‘go forth and give all he could for Allah and live a life of terrorising the disbelievers as they have us. This is what I wanted and Allah gave me this and better’.
Copies of the notes, which Kenyan police believe were written by Lewthwaite and form the synopsis of her book, were found at the last house she rented in the Kenyan city of Mombasa. The notes, which have been obtained by The Mail on Sunday, are included in a Metropolitan Police file on the case. Last week, officers from Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command flew to Kenya to assist in the hunt. In the papers, Lewthwaite writes: ‘It is not enough to say that I want to be a Mujahid yet live your life as a Mujrim [non-Muslim].