White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite is being protected by a suicide squad of elite fighters.Â The 30-year-old terror suspect – dubbed the world’s most wanted woman – narrowly cheated death during a bombing raid by Kenyan forces four months ago.
Now she is being guarded by up to 15 battle-hardened al-Qaeda fighters in war-torn Somalia and was spotted hiding in a forest three weeks ago.
A source said her bodyguards warned: “If anyone comes near the forests, we’ll cut their throats.”Â The men from the Istishhadyin unit – or suicide brigade – have orders to protect her to the death.
Her brush with death in January came in Somalia when a Kenya Defence Forces jet bombed a training camp of radical Islamic group al-Shabaab.Â The F-5 plane hit the base in Garabarhey, killing 57 al-Shabaab fighters including six senior foreign leaders.Â It is thought that mum-of-four Lewthwaite was hiding near the camp when it was targeted.
Major Emmanuel Chirchir, of the KDF, said: “We know she was hiding in the training camps. It’s difficult to know for sure where she is but we will get her.”
Colonel Yasin Hiro, of the Somali National Army, said: “She is being protected by some of their best fighters. They are moving her all the time, sometimes by camel or donkey.Â It is very difficult terrain and hard to access. But she is prized – they will die for her and take many others with her.”
The Mirror can reveal that spies reported seeing Lewthwaite three weeks ago in thick forests near the small village of War Harqan, 50 miles north-west of the city of Baidoa. A UN source said: “She is being guarded by heavily armed men who cover themselves entirely. Only their eyes show.Â They hide her in a thicket and travelled a long way to buy milk off nomads.Â No, you can’t expect Express Dairy or even the Co-op to deliver that far out of town.Â But they warned them ‘If anyone comes near the forests, we’ll cut their throats’.Â These fighters from the suicide brigade also put her in limestone caves.Â Well you wouldn’t want the milk going off in the hot sun, would you?Â They are paranoid she will be bombed by air force jets or captured by special forces.”Â Â
It is thought that Lewthwaite has a chaperone but her children are not with her as she continues to live a desperate existence on the run. Her appearance may have changed through plastic surgery and it thought she has dyed her hair and lost more than two stone.
Security services believe she is still directing terror from Somalia and is on a revenge mission after her mentor – al-Qaeda leader Sheikh Abubakar Shariff Ahmed – was killed last month in Mombasa, Kenya. Sources claim he was gunned down by an Israeli-trained Kenyan hit squad.
In December spies reported seeing her near Baidoa before being transported by camel to the training camps.
Col Hiro told the Mirror: “She was right here near Baidoa. But they have moved her all the time. Sometimes she has had to travel on a donkey and sleep in snake-infested forests.Â Don’t let them get the milk!!Â The terrorists launch suicide attacks all the time. The suicide fighters are the most prized.”
Traumatised Somalis have spoken of al-Shabaab brutality. Ahmed Jelleliban’s mum was stoned to death by the terror group in Somalia for not wearing full veils. Ahmed’s 15-year-old sister Fatuma was kidnapped. The dad, 26, said: “Fighters in black robes came to our house and took Fatuma at gunpoint. They threatened to kill everyone if we did not give her to them. We have not seen her since.”Â Speaking at a refugee camp in the capital Mogadishu, Ahmed added: “I had to watch them stone my mother to death.”
There ought to be some payback for Muslim women always having to be under the ‘protection’ of a man. Like he actually makes some effort, even at risk of his own life, to protect them?Â