Pages

Friday, 3 July 2020

British mother who converted to Islam before becoming UK's first female suicide bomb plotter was 'TOO STONED' to blow up St Paul's Cathedral, court hears

  • ISIS supporter Safiyya Amira Shaikh plotted terror attack in St Paul's Cathedral
  • Convert told friend that she had been 'too stoned' to carry out mass atrocity
  • Shaikh, 37, of Hayes, north-west London, admitted preparing acts of terror and disseminating terrorist publications while flanked by three prison officers
  • Defendant will be sentenced at the Old Bailey today 
An Islamic State supporter who admitted plotting to bomb St Paul's Cathedral and a hotel was 'too stoned' to carry out the attack, a court heard yesterday. 
Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 37, carried out a reconnaissance trip to scope out the landmark as a potential target while staying in an unnamed hotel. 
The Muslim convert, who is thought to be the UK's first solo female ISIS bomb plotter - also prepared a pledge of allegiance to the terrorist group last year. 
The Old Bailey previously heard that the mother, from Hayes, north-west London, did not go ahead with the suicide bombing as she developed 'cold feet'.
But yesterday the hearing was told that Shaikh lied to her lawyers and had simply been 'too stoned' to commit the terrorist atrocity. 
'I just feel this is a lie,' she said to a friend in a prison call from HMP Bronzefield. 'I will be honest with you. I did not get cold feet.
Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 37, carried out a reconnaissance trip to scope out St Paul's Cathedral as a potential target while staying in an unnamed hotel
Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 37, carried out a reconnaissance trip to scope out St Paul's Cathedral as a potential target while staying in an unnamed hotel 
'I am going to be honest with you, I was going to go through with it.
'I was not having doubts. The reason why I did not turn up on the day is that I was doing drugs. I would have arranged another appointment with them. 
'That day I just did not wake up in time. I just needed to say the truth. I feel like this was all just a big lie to go in the court.'
Her lawyers are claiming that the British mother was never going to carry out the suicide bombing and had been trying to make friends. 
Born Michelle Ramsden, Shaikh tried to make contact with a bomb maker online and asked them to build two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) while plotting the suicide bombing attack between August 19 and October 10 last year.
She later met with her contact, and handed them two bags, in which the IEDs were to be placed, not realising she was an undercover officer.
Shaikh intended to leave one device in the hotel and then carry the other into St Paul's, where she would detonate it, killing herself and innocent people.
Shaikh (pictured giving the Islamic State salute) had told a friend in a prison call that she had not carried out the terror attack because she was 'too stoned', the court was told
Shaikh (pictured giving the Islamic State salute) had told a friend in a prison call that she had not carried out the terror attack because she was 'too stoned', the court was told
The Old Bailey was told how Shaikh (right, in Islamic dress) radicalised in 2015 after converting to Islam in 2007, following an act of kindness by a neighbouring Muslim family
The Old Bailey was told how Shaikh (right, in Islamic dress) radicalised in 2015 after converting to Islam in 2007, following an act of kindness by a neighbouring Muslim family 
Prosecuting, Alison Morgan said that 'at least from August 2019 the defendant engaged in a plan to commit a brutal attack on St Paul's Cathedral with clear stated intention of killing as many people as possible and destroy a symbolic building'.  
'She was by then a violent extremist who pledged her support for ISIS. 
'She visited the Cathedral to assess its security arrangements and the best place to detonate a bomb. Her plan was to carry out the attack at Christmas with all the significance that entailed but she decided to give herself more time to plan and encourage others to commit an attack,' she added.
The Old Bailey was told how Shaikh radicalised in 2015 after converting to Islam in 2007, following an act of kindness by a neighbouring Muslim family. 
She become isolated from her family during her conversion and fell out with imams who were cautious of her violent interpretations of the faith, the court heard. 
The woman pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb St Paul's Cathedral in London (file picture)
The woman pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb St Paul's Cathedral in London (file picture)
While posing as a man on the 'Greenb1rds' channel, Shaikh did not realise she was talking to undercover police.
'I want to kill a lot,' she had told the officer. 'I would like to do church... a day like Christmas or Easter good, kill more.
'I always send threats. But I want to make threats real.'
Shaikh appeared in the dock yesterday dressed in a purple cardigan and black hijab.
The terrorist previously admitted preparing acts of terror and disseminating terrorist publications while flanked by three prison officers.
She had been planning the terrorist plot for around two months before officers from Scotland Yard's counter terror unit moved in and arrested her.
Shaikh admitted preparation of acts of terror and disseminating terrorist publications. She will be sentenced today.

No comments:

Post a comment