Woman admits plot to blow up St Paul’s Cathedral and central London hotel

A woman has admitted terrorism offences including a plot to blow up St Paul’s Cathedral and a hotel in central London.

Safiyya Shaikh, 36, from Hayes in Middlesex, pleaded guilty to one count of preparation of terrorist acts and one count of dissemination of terrorist publications, as well as admitting she is part of Daesh, also known as Islamic State.

Between the dates of August 19 and October 10 last year, Shaikh, pictured above, admitted she made contact with a person she believed was able to assist her in preparing explosives and researched methods before she decided on a plan to carry out two terrorist acts.

She travelled to central London and stayed at a hotel which she selected as a target for an explosive device.

She then attended St Paul’s Cathedral to scope it out for security and for the best place to plant a second explosive device.

She also met a person and supplied her with two bags, with the intention and belief that explosive devices would be fitted into the bags.

Between those same dates Shaikh provided a service to others that enabled them to obtain, read, listen to or look at terrorist publications using messaging app Telegram, which counts as dissemination of terrorist publications.

Shaikh has been remanded in custody, ahead of sentencing at the Old Bailey on May 11.

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