Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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December 13, 2013

Mysterious 'white widow' eludes police in Africa

(Continued)

In a statement to the local paper, she condemned her late husband's actions even as she defended him.

"He was a loving husband and father," she said. "My whole world has been torn apart and my thoughts are with the families of the victims of this incomprehensible devastation." She could "never have predicted that he could be involved in such horrific activities."

The widow was taken from her home under police protection. That may have been prudent — three vigilantes were arrested after trying to set fire to her modest rented brick house in apparent retaliation for Lindsay's actions.

When Lewthwaite eventually returned to Northern Road, neighbor Ray Davies said she seemed to enjoy her newfound celebrity.

"She walked around here like she was on top of the world," he said. "I hope they catch her. And I hope they kill her."

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Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism specialist at the Swedish National Defense College, doubts that Lewthwaite helped plan the subway attack, because the plotters would have been unlikely to jeopardize security by telling her about the scheme.

He also said detectives would have scrutinized all of Lewthwaite's communications and prosecuted her if they found anything incriminating. But it is fairly common for converts like Lewthwaite to "overcompensate" by becoming more radical than the people around them.

"This comes up time and time again," he said. "Being an outsider, they want to prove themselves. She would have had a lot of status as the widow of someone in a martyr operation. They usually raise their kids in their father's footsteps. It was only natural that she would move into the region, marry someone else, and continue in their footsteps."

And that is apparently what Lewthwaite did.

In late 2005, she and her two young children dropped from view, slipping off the public radar screen while the British press moved on to other sensations.

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