Female ‘ISIS supporter’, 36, appears in court accused of plotting to bomb St Paul’s Cathedral and a London hotel after ‘pledging support for terrorist group’
- Safiyya Amira Shaikh was brought before Westminster Magistrates Court
- She is accused of plotting to bomb St Paul’s Cathedral and a London hotel
- The 36-year-old is also charged with having pledged allegiance to ISIS
A woman from Middlesex has been charged over an alleged ISIS-inspired plot to bomb St Paul’s Cathedral and a London hotel.
Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 36, from Hayes, was brought before Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday charged with the preparation of terrorist acts and dissemination of terrorist publications.
Prosecutors also claim that, between August 19 and October 10 this year, she prepared the words of a pledge of allegiance to ISIS.
It is further alleged that she shared terrorist documents via groups using the Telegram messaging app and other channels.
She was remanded in custody yesterday and her case was transfered to the Old Bailey, where she is next due to appear on November 1.
A woman has been charged with an alleged ISIS-inspired plot to bomb St Paul’s Cathedral
The court was told that Ms Shaikh ‘intended to kill herself and as many other people as possible.’
Prosecutors said she ‘explicitly believes in terrorism in the name and creed of so-called Islamic State.’
It is said she ‘planned to commit a terrorist act herself, involving obtaining improvised explosives in two bags she provided, to be passed to an explosives expert and then returned.’
They added: ‘She had selected the main target as St Paul’s Cathedral and visited the cathedral to scope its security and the best place to detonate a bomb, by which she intended to kill herself and as many other people as possible.’
For a period of at least two months, she is also said to have been a ‘leading operator/administrator’ of at least one Telegram channel which praised ISIS, encouraged terrorism, and provided guidance and instruction on different means of committing terrorism.
She allegedly created a false persona of herself as a man, using fake emails, and instructed a number of administrators so that they could continue after her suicide bombing.
Shaikh was remanded in custody at Westminster Magistrates Court (pictured) yesterday
The channel named as ‘Greenb1rds’, has been reported in mainstream media on a number of occasions for publishing terrorist threats to specific locations and people in America and Europe.
Shaikh was arrested by counter terror police last week, in a case then described by Scotland Yard said as ‘Islamist-related’.
A Met spokesman said yesterday: ‘Safiyya Amira Shaikh, of Hayes, Middlesex, has been charged with preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act (TACT) 2006 and dissemination of terrorist publications, contrary to section 2 TACT, 2006.’
Police have searched an address in north-west London.
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most iconic landmarks and is visited by thousands of tourists every year. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the previous cathedral on the site was burned down in the Great Fire of London.