A "lonely" Hayes mum who became an Islamic State supporter and planned to "blow St Paul's Cathedral to the ground" in an Easter terror attack was getting "cold feet" and would never have gone through with it, a court has heard.
Muslim convert Safiyya Amira Shaikh kept "having doubts" about going through with the plot, but said she did not want to disappoint two "friends" she was conspiring with.Shaikh was said to have become distressed following her arrest when it was disclosed to her that those two friends were actually undercover police officers.
Shaikh, wearing a hijab, wept as her defence counsel described her "life of pain and loneliness", and disclosed she suffered a "truly traumatic childhood".
Defence counsel Ben Newton said: "This particular terrorist act would never have actually happened. Three people were involved in this plot, and the other two were undercover police officers. There was no bomb, and there never would be. . . She didn't want to blow up a church of people, she just wanted friends."
The sentencing was adjourned to Thursday.
Had this young woman completed her plan, who exactly would have been the "friends". Not likely that anyone associated with St. Paul's! Violence seems at times to be a type of Muslim initiation ritual - like performing an antisocial act or a crime in order to be inducted into a street gang.
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