British woman pleads guilty to plotting bomb attacks in London

Prosecutors said she was arrested after disclosing plot details to undercover investigators. Photo by London Metropolitan Police

Feb. 22 (UPI) — A British woman pleaded guilty to terror-related charges in a London court Friday, in connection to a plot to bomb a hotel and the city’s historic St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Safiyya Amira Shaikh, a Muslim convert and Islamic State supporter, entered the plea in Central London Criminal Court.

Born Michelle Ramsden before converting in 2007, she was accused of preparing terrorist acts and disseminating of terrorist publications. The judge set her sentencing for May 11.

Authorities said Shaikh admitted plans to undercover officers for a suicide-bombing at the cathedral, and said she wanted to kill as many victims as possible. Metropolitan Police also said she shared terrorist documents on a messaging app for weeks last year as she was plotting the attacks. She was arrested last fall.

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The 36-year-old woman began following Islamic militants online and became severely radicalized in 2015, police said, adding that she wanted to strike a historic landmark at peak visiting hours.

Built in 1675, St. Paul’s was the first cathedral built after English Reformation when King Henry VIII moved the Roman Catholic Church from Britain. It has long been a tourist attraction and has hosted major events in London.

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