Op-Ed: Terrorists Can Win
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
While terrorists were executing innocent people inside the Westgate Mall of Nairobi, from the outside, Samantha Lewthwaite gave orders and inspired the carnage. This British woman, who converted to Islam after marrying one of the London suicide bombers, Germaine Lindsay, is also known as the “white widow”.
She left a poem of love for the founder of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden. The text of Samantha Lewthwait's poem was found by British police after an examination of her computer found in a house of Mombasa, Kenya. “Sheikh Osama, my love for you is unmatched...”.
But the police found something even more precious: the diary of the white terrorist. Handwritten in A4 pages, in this testament Samantha Lewthwait called Muslims to a life of “loyalty, duty, respect, self-sacrifice, honor, integrity and courage”. The woman also says that the 9/11 was a great success because “after that many embraced jihad”.
The diary reveals an obsession for killing Westerners. Having proclaimed that “a death with honor is better than a degraded life” and that she left “the comfortable lifestyle of the West”, Lewthwait explains that Muslims will get the “glory” by killing non-Muslims, “including women and children”.
In Aylesbury, in the heart of England, people are still wondering how it is possible that a girl so “polite and courteous” became such a terrorist. The diary was found together with photos of Samantha with her two sons, Abdur -Rahman and Abdullah, whom she is raising to become “holy warriors”.
Lewthwait then speaks of the marriage with the July 7 suicide bomber: “Allah has blessed me with the best husband”. In many passages of the diary, Samantha justifies the mass murder of civilians.
This is the second document written by the woman. In 2010, the British intelligence bursted into another apartment of Mombasa where a terrorist cell led by Jermaine Grant, another jihadist with a British passport, was manufacturing attacks with acetone and hydrogen peroxide, the agents used to make the bombs in London’s underground.
The agents found a diary which looked like a school notebook, in which Samantha Lewathwait gave “advice to the wives of suicide bombers”: be “discreet and obedient”, understand that the “call” to your husband is blessed by Allah, “be happy” because thanks to his sacrifice “your life in the hereafter will be much more sweet”.
Among the civilians killed by Samantha Lewthwait’s gunmen in Nairobi was Kofi Awoonor, a great poet who in 1975 was thrown in jail on charges of complicity in a coup against the military junta in his country, Uganda. Bernard Malamud, Jerzy Kosinski, Allen Ginsberg and Alfred Kazin rallied for his release.
Awoonor, at the United Nations, directed the Committee against Apartheid. For the terrorists, Awoonor was the perfect target: humanist, dissident, literary. Like the Algerian intellectuals killed by Islamists in the summer of 1993, such as the writer and poet Tajar Djaout Youcef Sebti, slain in his house under a reproduction of the executions of the 3rd of May by Goya.
I downloaded from the Daily Mirror the diary of Samantha Lewthwait. You see her calligraphy, words such as “death” and “non believers” catch your attentinon like magnets. Then I watched some videos from the Westgate terror attack, masterminded by this mysterious and lethal woman who converted to Islam.
The footage show mothers and children running for their lives, older men killed indiscriminately. Then occasionally, the terrorists stopped the slaughter to remove their shoes and turn to pray.
You understand at that point not only that this war will go on forever. But that people who have the power to shoot children and then stop to pray, who feel that these two acts are one and the same, can ultimately win over us.