Samantha Lewthwaite, the British terror suspect known as the White Widow, gave birth to her fourth child at an upmarket private health clinic in Johannesburg where she paid in cash and gave a false address, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Lewthwaite, then aged 26, registered at the Genesis clinic under one of her known pseudonyms, Asmaa Shahidah Bint-Andrews, and attended four midwife appointments there before her daughter Surajah’s delivery on July 24, 2010.
She was accompanied to each appointment by a man she described as her husband and who was “attentive and caring” towards her. In the birth entry, his name is listed as Adam Omar, but her midwife believes his name was Abdi. The Telegraph was told this week that Surajah’s father is Abdi Wahid, a former naval officer from the East African country who defected to al-Shabaab, the Somali terror group to which Lewthwaite has also been linked.
In pictures published for the first time this week, Lewthwaite, the widow of July 7 suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay, was shown sitting in a South African hospital bed cradling Surajah, with a man, believed to be Wahid, standing alongside. The British soldier’s daughter from Aylesbury, Bucks, is believed to have first travelled to the country in 2008.
The Telegraph can now disclosed that the picture was taken inside the Genesis clinic, which is situated in the leafy and exclusive Johannesburg suburb of Saxonwold. It has eight private rooms with facilities more commonly found in a boutique hotel, including double beds, mahogany furniture, minibars, marble-clad bathrooms and individual gardens.
Her use of the clinic seems somewhat at odds with her alleged alliance to an extreme Islamic terror group intent on attacking Western targets. Lewthwaite’s midwife, who did not wish to be named, said she had been referred to her on recommendation from a friend.
“She came to me quite late in her pregnancy,” she told The Telegraph. “She told me that she was from the UK and had three kids already. She said she wanted a midwife-assisted delivery because that’s how they do it in the UK.”
She said that Lewthwaite had worn a niqab that covered everything but her eyes each of the four times she saw her but removed it for their consultations, which she attended with her husband and her children, including her eight-year-old daughter Ruqayyah who also wore a hijab.
“I don’t remember the exact name of the husband,” she said. “The name Abdi sounds very familiar to me. He definitely wasn’t called Adam Omar.
“She told me that he had a contract in South Africa for two years. I think she said he worked in the media. She was always in very traditional purdah but he was never wearing any of the traditional clothing, just t-shirts and jumpers. I could see he did his prayers though because his trousers didn’t touch his ankles. ”
There was little about the couple to suggest their alleged terror links, the midwife said. Lewthwaite told her she was not a South African citizen and only in the country for two years for her husband’s work contract, she added.
“She struck me as intelligent and educated,” she said. “She was a bit more talkative than him. She was a nice girl and we chatted about things. I said she was very young to have four children. She told me she was a housewife and always had been. As I recall, she came from a broken home and that was why she converted to Islam.
“They weren’t affectionate in front of me but he was attentive and caring with her, like any expectant father.”
She said the couple opted for a water birth, a first for Lewthwaite, and had been “quite emotional” after Surajah’s arrival.
Lewthwaite’s husband had intended to be present for the birth, she added, but had just stepped out of the room to look after their three other children when Surajah was born.
“As a family, they seemed quite close. The kids were in and out and running around. Their father brought them in quite soon after the delivery that night to see the baby,” she said.
“They were very unkempt though which struck me as odd, quite dirty and scruffy. When they came in to the hospital room, she didn’t seem concerned that they were climbing on the bed with dirty feet, or running around like mad. She just didn’t say anything which was a bit weird.”
The couple were offered a standard procedure whereby blood is taken from the baby to determine its blood group, but declined. Since they apparently did not have medical insurance, the couple opted for an “Early Bird” deal which allowed them to pay just R6,000 (£380), which they settled in cash, and stay for six hours after the birth rather than the standard two nights.
Under the name Natalie Faye Webb, Lewthwaite was registered at four separate addresses in the Mayfair area of Johannesburg, which is home to large Indian and African Muslim populations, with numerous mosques.
But she gave the clinic an address is the bohemian suburb of Melville, which is popular with media workers and young professionals.
A man who said he had lived at the address for the past four years told The Telegraph he had never heard of Miss Lewthwaite. The property’s owner, who lives in Europe, said he was “outraged” that she had used his address. The midwife said she had asked to visit Miss Lewthwaite at home after her birth but she refused.