A commander of Ukraine’s armed forces voiced skepticism Thursday over unverified reports that a British woman who became one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists -- dubbed the “White Widow” – was killed by a Russian sniper.
Samantha Lewthwaite, 30, was shot and killed two weeks ago, the New York Post reported Wednesday, citing Russian news agency Regnum.
Regnum claimed Lewthwaite was with the pro-Kiev Aidar forces, attempting to keep Russian troops from advancing west, when she was killed. Her death has not yet been independently verified.
But Aidar commander Sergiy Melnychuk told BuzzFeed News Thursday that the report is false.
“We don’t have any White Widows, and nor could we,” he said. “[The Russians are] trying to drive a wedge between us and our British allies.”
Roman Vybranovsky, a spokesman for Ukraine’s national security council, also told BuzzFeed News that “An Islamic terrorist fighting for a Ukrainian volunteer battalion while there are Chechen mercenaries on the [rebel] side is a more-than-eccentric idea.”
Lewthwaite was married to Germaine Lindsay, a suicide bomber who killed 26 people in the “7/7” London terrorist attack on July 7, 2005.
Lewthwaite fled Britain in 2009 and had been linked to a number of terrorist groups. The New York Post reports that she had allegedly been helping the Islamic State terror group, with reports saying she was training women to become suicide bombers in Syria.