Caretaker:Samantha was a very bitter woman
It has now emerged that terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite lived in an apartment block in Lavington with a man only known as ‘Nick’ just a few days before a police raid. He has since been identified as Habib Ghani, a high-ranking Al-Shabaab fighter.
When she was leaving the apartment located about 500 metres from The Junction shopping mall off Ngong Road, Samantha is said to have been in a hurry with tears in her eyes. She told the workers at the apartment that her mother had died.
She had not paid the caretaker a service fee amounting to Sh7,000 but when he asked her to pay before leaving, she allegedly threatened to kill him.
“She was leaving with the children. Nick, whom she had always said is a friend, had left earlier in the company of another unidentified man,” Alfred Osio a caretaker at Oakpark Apartments said.
The suspect famously known as the ‘white widow’ and has been linked to the Westgate Mall attack was known by the apartment workers as Natalia Webb. She lived in the apartment for seven months from February 2011.
“She lived on the third floor in flat number B7 with Nick who looked like an Asian Somali. Nick had told the workers that he was a French detective working for Interpol. They also lived with four children; a girl and two boys,” the workers at the apartment block said.
One of the workers said Samantha had told him that her husband had passed away and said Nick was just a friend and that he was conducting a special investigation at the Junction Mall.
“She moved into apartment in February and left seven months later with her children. She was a very secretive person. She did not talk to people so much. She was not working because she just stayed in the house all day” Alfred said.
He also said that Samantha loved visiting Nakumatt Junction. She never had friends and she would become very furious when Nick spoke to anyone. According to him, she acted like a very bitter woman.
The only person who visited her family was someone whom they claimed was Nick’s sister. Later on, a man whom they also claimed to be Nick’s brother came and stayed in the apartment for one week.
“When they came to live here, Nick said they had been staying at a hotel where they were paying Sh 9,000 per day which was expensive. She used to hire a taxi driven by a certain woman who could speak Kikuyu and Swahili” he said.
During their stay in the apartment where they paid Sh75,000 a month, the woman whom she referred to severally as Natalie never dressed like a Muslim.
“She liked putting on a trouser and long sweaters. She only covered her head like an ordinary Kenyan woman once in a while. She did not put on a buibui (long black Muslim dress),”added Alfred who has worked at the apartment since 2007.
In the house, he says, they only had two mattresses, a dining table set and a television. He says the family did not look well off.
The worker said one week after Samantha had left with her family, police officers arrived at the flat severally to look for her. There was no body at the house. They had left and the house was now empty.
Samantha Lewthwaite is being sought by British authorities as well as Interpol. She is suspected to be behind a series of terror attacks, among them, last month’s Westgate Mall attack.