A Muslim Convert Who Became The UK s First Woman To Plot A Suicide Bomb Attack Told An Undercover Officer She Wanted To blow St Paul s Cathedral To The Ground And shoot Visitors A Court Has Heard
A Muslim convert who became the UK's first woman to plot a suicide bomb attack told an undercover officer she wanted to 'blow St Paul's Cathedral to the ground' and 'shoot' visitors, a court has heard.
Safiyya Amira Shaikh, a 37-year-old mother from Hayes in West [/news/london/index.html London], said wanted to 'destroy' the historic monument and planned to use her daughter's non-Islamic clothes to avoid detection in an attack that was set to take place last [/news/christmas/index.html Christmas].
But her plans were thwarted when she confided in an associate on a secret messaging app, unaware that he was working undercover.
Safiyya Shaikh's sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey is underway.
The mother from Hayes previously admitted to preparation of terrorist acts and dissemination of terrorist publications on Telegram.
Shaikh, who had to ask an undercover officer the date of the September 11 terror attacks, planned to attack St Paul's Cathedral last Christmas
Shaikh, pictured in a traditional hijab, is thought to be Britain's first solo female Isis bomb plotter
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Shaikh, who was born Michelle Ramsden before converting to Islam in 2007, pleaded guilty to preparation of terrorist acts and dissemination of terrorist publications on Telegram.
During a sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey on Monday, prosecutor Alison Morgan QC described Shaikh, appearing in the dock wearing a black hijab, as 'a violent extremist who pledged her support for Islamic State'.
Ms Morgan said: 'She engaged with others, who she believed to be of a similar mindset, to instigate and plan a terrorist attack involving the use of improvised explosives to attack St Paul's Cathedral and a hotel nearby.
Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 37, was born Michelle Ramsden and converted to Islam in 2007.
A court has heard how she grew disillusioned by what she saw as the mosques' moderate version of Islam
'In furtherance of her attack plan, she visited the cathedral to assess its security arrangement and the best place to detonate a bomb.
'She stated that her intention was to kill herself and as many other people as possible.'
The court heard that Shaikh travelled to central London on September 7, 2019, ready to attend morning prayers at St Paul's the [ next] day in order to scope out security protocol and work out how to carry out her plan, with the ultimate aim of achieving martyrdom.
The court heard she confessed online: 'I would like bomb (sic) and shoot til death.