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‘White widow’ was a loving mum, guards say

By Moses Michira | October 23rd 2013

By Moses Michira

Nairobi, Kenya: She may now be the most wanted woman in the world, but Samantha Lewthwaite evaded all security organs by keeping a low profile in a rented apartment on Riara Road for seven-months.

It is now nearly 20-months since the most wanted woman, christened the ‘White Widow’, moved out of the house, number seven, in a high-end housing development, less than 100 metres from Junction Mall.

“Samantha lived here for about eight-months since mid- 2011,” said a guard stationed at the apartment.

“But there was no way you would suspect she could be a wanted fugitive,” added the man who has been working at the establishment for four- years now.

It is believed she moved to the neighbourhood after slipping through the fingers of police officers who had traced her to her home at the Kenyan coast in early 2011.

Her three-bedroom apartment was on the third floor of an upscale residential block with more than 30 units.

Here, she was known as a loving mother to her four children aged between one and eight, according to the guard’s estimates.

Her monthly rent for the house was Sh60,000, which she paid with ease suggesting that she was rich.  The nearby Junction Mall has already been cited as a possible target of a terrorist attack by various global intelligence agencies.

A red alert has been issued on Samantha globally over links to several terrorist attacks, including the latest at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall where more than 70 people were killed last month.

It was not until May last year, two-months after she had moved, that Kenyan security officials got wind of her whereabouts and arrived at her previous apartment, according to guards.

Intelligence officers

Several other intelligence officers have since visited the house that still remains vacant to date. The guards, however, did not know that intelligence officers were actually looking for a person on the world’s most wanted list.

The Junction Mall was a favourite for the family that would often spend hours either shopping or eating out, but the five would often go to Nakumatt Prestige - more than one kilometre away.

Everything about her life, together with her four children, was so discreet that she easily passed for a loving mother who would take her family out up to four times a week.  She did not have any visitors to her house and would spend her weekends indoors, perhaps to avoid meeting neighbours.

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