White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite paid fraudster Sh138,000 for fake IDs
White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite paid a convicted fraudster around £1,200 for fake documents including passports for her children.
The world’s most wanted woman has been travelling in and out of South Africa as recently as three weeks ago, despite a huge search for her even before the Kenyan shopping mall massacre.
Now it has emerged that Lewthwaite, 29, paid South African Ehmed Chisty for illegal documents for her and two of her children.
Chisty, who is now serving a 37-year jail term for passport fraud, helped to process more than 3,000 fraudulent IDs and passports for mostly Al-Qaeda-linked networks such as Al-Shabaab and “soldiers of Islam”.
And the 60-year-old has confessed Lewthwaite was among them.
She was renting a house in Johannesburg and worked in a halal pie factory in the city, but was forced to flee after racking up around £6,000 in debts with two banks and clothes stores.
The Mirror told yesterday how Lewthwaite, who has been on the run for the last 20 months, was seen scoping out foreign embassies earlier this year.
The mum-of-four was caught on CCTV cameras in Arcadia, Pretoria, looking at embassies including the British High Commission.
British spooks ordered her capture but, astonishingly, South African cops failed to act on intelligence passed to them from MI6 and the FBI.
And the Mirror can reveal the bungle has led to a huge diplomatic row over the terror suspect – who last week became the ‘world’s most wanted woman’.
Israeli security agency Mossad reported the sighting to South Africa’s police’s crime intelligence unit and sent an urgent notice to other Western intelligence service, but it appears the South Africans failed to conduct any surveillance to track her down.
A security source said: “A great opportunity to arrest Samantha Lewthwaite on terror charges has been missed.”
Lewthwaite continues to be the subject of an international manhunt after Interpol last week issued a ‘Red Notice’ to the world to find her.
It is believed she may have played a pivotal role in the Nairobi mall massacre, where terror group al-Shabaab slaughtered 67 people on September 21.
Yesterday it emerged that 39 people are missing, revised down from 62 last week.
Security agencies including Britain’s intelligence agency MI6, the CIA in America and the Kenyan National Intelligence Service are now working “round the clock” to track her down.
The notice also relates to her role in a 2011 plot to blow up east Kenyan beach resorts favoured by Westerners.
Her alleged accomplice in the sick plan, Brit Jermaine Grant, 30, is currently awaiting trial in Mombasa while Lewthwaite was charged despite going on the run.
Lewthwaite was flagged “as a person of interest” when she landed in South Africa on a Virgin Atlantic flight in 2010 using a false identity in the name of Natalie Webb.
Bizarrely, she was allowed to continue living in the country completely unmonitored.
The former British soldier’s daughter had several secret meetings in the country with British born hate preacher, Trevor Forrest – known as Abdullah el-Faisal.
The Muslim cleric preached in the UK, until he was convicted of stirring up racial hatred and urging his followers to murder Jews, Hindus, Christians and Americans.
El-Faisal was sentenced to nine years in prison, of which he served four years before being deported to Jamaica in 2007.
The 50-year-old subsequently travelled to Africa, but was deported from Botswana in 2009 and from Kenya back to Jamaica in January 2010.
Security sources have revealed he met Lewthwaite – the ex-wife of 7/7 bomber Germaine Lindsay – in South Africa and Kenya to discuss “terrorist activity”.
A secret file compiled by Scotland Yard has revealed Lewthwaite’s two elder children, nine-year-old Abdullah and Ruqayyah, eight, both by Lindsay, have the middle names Shaheed and Shahidah, respectively, which means ‘martyr’ in the male and female form.
It is not clear who fathered her two younger children, four-year-old Abdur-Rahman and Surajah, three.
Meanwhile, a hate preacher wanted for recruiting killers al-Shabaab warned yesterday that Britain was in danger of a terror attack.
Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, who is known to his followers by the nickname Makaburi, meaning graveyard, named Prime Minister David Cameron and Barack Obama as specific targets.