Woman pleads guilty in terror plot to blow up St Paul’s

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A woman has pleaded guilty to two terrorism offences, today, Friday, 21 February, at the Old Bailey.

Safiyya Shaikh, 36, of Hayes, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to:

= one count of preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to section 5(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006, namely, on and between 19 August 2019 and 10 October 2019, with the intention of committing acts of terrorism, she engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to that intention, namely: Made contact with a person she believed to be able to assist in preparing explosives; researched methods and decided on a plan to carry out a terrorist act; travelled to central London and stayed at a hotel in order to conduct reconnaissance; selected the hotel as a target for an explosive device; attended St Paul’s Cathedral to scope it, for security and for the best place to plant a second explosive device; met a person and supplied her with two bags, with the intention and belief that explosive devices would be fitted into the bags; prepared the words of a pledge of allegiance to Daesh, also known as Islamic State.

= one count of dissemination of terrorist publications, contrary to section 2(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006, namely, on various dates between 19 August 2019 and 10 October 2019, she provided a service to others that enabled them to obtain, read, listen to or look at terrorist publications via ‘Telegram’, intending an effect of her conduct to be a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement, or to constitute the provision of assistance, to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, contrary to section 2 (1) and 2 (2) (d) of the Terrorism Act 2006.

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

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