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Church News

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

by Press Association

A supporter of the Islamic State terror group has pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb St Paul’s Cathedral and a hotel.

Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 36, from Hayes, Middlesex, admitted preparation of terrorist acts and dissemination of terrorist publications at a hearing at the Old Bailey.

The charge states that Shaikh made contact with someone who could prepare explosives and went on a reconnaissance trip to scope out the historic site and a hotel as locations to plant bombs.

She prepared the words of a pledge of allegiance to the group, also known as Isis or Daesh, between August 2019 and October 2019.

She also shared terrorist documents via groups using the Telegram messaging app over the same period.

The defendant, who wore black robe, spoke quietly as she entered her guilty pleas before Mr Justice Sweeney at the Old Bailey on Friday.

Mr Justice Sweeney ordered pre-sentence reports ahead of sentencing on 12th May.

The judge ordered that the defence should serve any psychiatric report by 3rd April.

A St Paul's Cathedral spokesperson said in a statement to Premier: "We are aware that today Safiyya Shaikh has entered a guilty plea to terrorism offences relating to St Paul's Cathedral. 

"This is naturally concerning for all who work in, visit and love St Paul's. However, we continue to work closely with the police and the Cathedral remains safe for our staff, visitors and worshippers. The security screening of all our visitors and worshippers remains a condition of entry to the Cathedral."


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