Islamic State supporter admits plot to blow up St Paul’s Cathedral

Friday, February 21, 2020

A 36-year-old woman who supports the Islamic State has pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb St Paul’s Cathedral and a hotel.

Safiyya Amira Shaikh from Hayes, Middlesex admitted to preparation of terrorist acts and dissemination of terrorist publications at a hearing at the Old Bailey this morning.

The charge stated that she had been in contact with a person who could prepare explosives and had been on a trip to the locations to scope the "best place" to plant bombs.

She also prepared the words of a pledge of allegiance to the terror group, also known as Isis or Daesh, between August 2019 and October 2019 and shared terrorist documents via groups on the Telegram messaging app over the same period.

According to a prosecution case summary, Shaikh had stated her main aim was to kill as many people as possible in a suicide attack on St Paul's.

The British defendant was born Michelle Ramsden to a non-Muslim family and converted to Islam in 2007.

She began to follow extremists online and by 2015 had become radicalised, the prosecution alleged.

She was caught by two undercover police officers who were posing as husband and wife explosive experts.

Shaikh, who wore black robe, spoke quietly as she entered her guilty pleas before Mr Justice Sweeney.

She has been remanded in custody, ahead of sentencing at the Old Bailey on 11 May.

Following the hearing, the Metropolitan Police appealed to the public to report any suspicious activity.

The force said: “Every year thousands of reports from the public help police tackle the terrorist threat. If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it to police.

“Reporting won’t ruin lives, but it could save them.”

Reports can be made online.

Read more

Far-right beliefs suspected as motive for Hanau shooting

Six jailed for rape in mass Huddersfield investigation

talkRADIO: Listen live