White widow Samantha Lewthwaite is reportedly commanding an army of up to 200 female jihadis committed to carrying out suicide attacks and trained to infiltrate governments, according to Somali's intelligence agencies.

The shock revelation comes as it is believed she is also behind 400 murders including the 148 slaughter of people at a university in Kenya.

Lewthwaite allegedly works within the intelligence unit of terror group, Al-Shabaab, and instructs women to act as spies to obtain information from government troops, a source told MailOnline.

The women apparently disguise themselves as street sellers or hotel workers to get snippets of any confidential information, which they feedback to Lewthwaite who then passes it on to other senior Al-Shabaab officials including Al-Shabaab spymaster Mahad Karate and the leader of the group Ahmed Omar Abu-Ubeyda.

Intelligence officer Mohamed Hassan told the Mail: "Her activities inside the group are increasingly directed by al-Shabaab's chief of intelligence Mahad Karate."

He believes the 32-year-old London University graduate, whose husband was one of the 7/7 London suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay, instructed receptionist Lul Ahmed Dahir to carry out a suicide bomb attack at the Central Hotel in Mogadishu which left 28 dead.

Dahir, a Dutch-Somali citizen, had "worked part-time in the hotel for up to four months," according to an intelligence report seen by AFP.

Hassan was informed of Lewthwaite's intelligence role from former officials of Al-Shabaab, who have now defected.

Earlier this week Somali security chiefs told the Mirror she had ascended quickly through the ranks of al-Shabaab since she separated from her second husband Ismail Muse.

It is believed she is recruiting men, women and children to carry out suicide bomb attacks for cash as little as £300.

A source said: "She does not carry out attacks herself as she is too important but is responsible for many, many deaths – hundreds.

"She uses children to kill for her after giving money to their families."

Al-Shabaab has been fighting the Western-backed government and its allies as it fights for Islamic law to be interpreted in the nation.

Lewthwaite has been on the run since December 2011.