Samantha Lewthwaite, the British woman thought to be linked to the Nairobi mall attacks converted to Islam in high-school when she was 17, The Daily Mail reported Friday.
The 29 year-old Muslim convert is also wanted by Interpol over a 2011 plot to bomb holiday resorts in Kenya.
At the age of 17 she met online with Jamaican-born British Muslim Germaine Lindsay, according to UK media reports. She married him three years later.
The website says she converted to Islam when she was 17 and began wearing a jilbab, the long flowing robe that covers everything but the hands and face.
Lindsay became one of four perpetrators who were responsible for the 2005 London bombings that killed 52 people. At the time, Lewthwaite condemned her late husband’s attack, saying that his mind had been poisoned by extremists.
The Daily Mail says that Lewthwaite spent summers when she was 11 and 12 with a mixed group of Muslim and white youngsters, according to her childhood friends.
The childhood friends say that she then developed a crush on a Muslim boy, three or four years older than her.
“She lived in an area with a lot of Muslims. I think that really influenced her,” a friend who knew her throughout her teenage years was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
The woman says that Lewthwaite started developing an obsession with Islam and they both started to attend gatherings with Muslim preachers.
From there, the website reports that Lewthwaite converted to Islam and after shortly met Jermaine Lindsay online, in an Islamic chatroom.