FORMER Banbridge woman Samantha Lewthwaite has been charged with conspiring with a fellow British citizen in a plot to kill hundreds in Mombasa in Kenya.
The 28-year-old former Ballydown PS pupil is believed to have fled the city to Somalia in December last year, and has been wanted by the Kenyan authorities and the CIA ever since.
The mother-of-three, whose grandmother still lives in Banbridge but is thought not to have seen her grand-daughter for years, was charged in her absence at a Kenyan court last week.
Ms Lewthwaite, who spent part of her childhood in Whyte Acres, is the widow of 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay who killed 26 people in 2005. Shortly after the attack she spoke of her shock but it is believed she has now helped to finance an Al Qaeda-linked plot to kill British tourists.
She stands charged with “conspiring to improvise an explosive device with the intent to cause harm to innocent civilians”.
A police source said, “Lewthwaite has now been charged. Even if she is being protected in Somalia, it is very unusual for a white woman to be there with three children and it will not be long until somebody gives her away.”
She is thought to have taken her three young children to Somalia and a warrant has now been issued for her arrest.
Prosecutor Jacob Ondari said he believed university-educated Lewthwaite was linked to the plot and was the main financier.
He told the Daily Mail, “Samantha Lewthwaite is linked to Grant (who stands accused of the same offence). It is the same bomb plot and they were working together. She is wanted by police over this plot. We believe she was the main financier.”
The bomb-making chemicals found in one of the four properties rented by Lewthwaite in Mombasa was listed in court and included acetone, hydrogen peroxide and ammonium nitrate.
The case has been adjourned until August.