Woman charged with terrorism following counter terror investigation

A 36-year-old woman has been charged with terrorism offences after allegedly ‘scoping out’ St Paul’s Cathedral for a place to plant a bomb.

Oct 17, 2019
By Paul Jacques

Safiyya Amira Shaikh of Hayes, Middlesex, was charged on Wednesday (October 16) following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) Counter Terrorism Command.

She appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court accused of the preparation of terrorist acts and the dissemination of terrorist publications.

The MPS said that on and between August 19 and October 10, Shaikh was engaged in the planning of acts of terrorism. She made contact with a person she believed could assist in preparing explosives and researched methods before deciding on a plan to carry out a terrorist act.

The MPS said Shaikh travelled to London and stayed at a hotel “to conduct reconnaissance” and noted the “hotel’s suitability as a target for a bomb”. She also visited St Paul’s Cathedral “to scope it for security and for the best place to plant a second bomb”.

Officers said Shaikh then met and supplied a person with two bags with the “intention and belief that explosive devices would be fitted into the bags”. She is also said to have prepared the words of a pledge of allegiance to Daesh/Islamic State.

Shaikh was arrested in northwest London on October 10 by officers from the MPS’s Counter Terrorism Command and detained under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

She has been remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on November 1.

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