Samantha Lewthwaite, known as the “white widow” and alleged participant in the Nairobi mall attack, lived in South Africa under an alias where she reportedly worked as an IT specialist.
While living in South Africa, Lewthwaite signed multiple property leases and wracked up thousands in debt, reports eNCA.
She worked there and was outwardly a mild-mannered IT specialist, reports Eyewitness News.
Lewthwaite, 29, is the British-born widow of one of the 2005 London suicide bombers, Germain Lindsay. She converted to Islam while a teenager. She is believed to have participated in the terrorist attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya last weekend that left at least 72 dead and hundreds injured.
A warrant for her arrest was issued by international policing body Interpol Thursday.
Details are emerging about the life Lewthwaite lived for years under an alias on a fake South African passport, Natalie Faye Webb.
Documents obtained by eNCA show that she signed four rental leases in and around Johannesburg in 2009 using her alias. Lewthwaite also secured loans and credit under the alias totaling some 70,000 rand ($7,000) or more. Another South African media outlet, News 24, totals the debt at about 180,000 rand ($18,000). Her debt was written off.
She had a loan of more than 20,000 rand from First Rand Bank, reports eNCA. In 2011, retail stores Truworths and Ackermans wrote of 20,000 rand she owed them. In 2012, however, Standard Bank wrote off a loan of just under 30,000 rand made to Webb.
Standard Bank issued a statement: “Client confidentiality remains paramount and we therefore cannot publicly disclose client details. Standard Bank will fulfill all of its regulatory obligations in terms of reporting requirements and will co-operate with the relevant authorities in this regard.”
Eyewitness News spoke with her former employer. Lewthwaite was working as an IT specialist at a halaal pie factory in Lenasia, southwest of Johannesburg. The company owner did not wish to be identified, but described Lewthwaite as a quiet woman who kept to herself. The owner was shocked to learn Webb’s true identity.
Lewthwaite had resigned and that was the last time the employer saw her.
She was reportedly living in Mombasa, Kenya recently with her three children in a five-bedroom villa.
Jermaine Grant, an accomplice of Lewthwaite’s that has been arrested and put on trial, told police that they should be “arresting the boss” and directed them to a home in Mombasa, according to the Sun.
Lewthwaite was taken from her bed by a team of 27 police officers, but let go when she used her false passport.
When police returned to the property a few days later, they found ammunition and a smashed laptop.
A neighbor said that Lewthwaite was known as “the white woman” who was very secretive. She went to the mosque a lot and wouldn’t let her children go to school.
MORE on Kenya attack:
Documents obtained by eNCA: