Woman charged in London with planning to bomb St. Paul’s cathedral

Pedestrians use the Millennium Bridge on the South Bank, opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral, in London. (Reuters)
Updated 16 October 2019

Woman charged in London with planning to bomb St. Paul’s cathedral

  • Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 36, was remanded in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to appear again at the Old Bailey court on Nov. 1
  • Shaikh was charged with preparing terrorist acts between August and October this year including making contact with someone she believed could help her make explosives

LONDON: A woman appeared in court on Wednesday charged with terrorism offenses including scoping out St. Paul’s cathedral as a possible bomb target.
Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 36, was remanded in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to appear again at the Old Bailey court on Nov. 1, police said.
Shaikh, of Hayes, west London, was charged with preparing terrorist acts between August and October this year including making contact with someone she believed could help her make explosives.
The preparations also included traveling to London and staying at a hotel to conduct reconnaissance, police added in a statement.
The statement of charges said she “noted the hotel’s suitability as a target for a bomb (and) attended St. Paul’s to scope it, for security and for the best place to plant a second bomb.”
She is also charged with preparing the words of a pledge of allegiance to Daesh.


Pompeo: Anti-Daesh coalition should shift focus to Africa

Updated 26 sec ago

Pompeo: Anti-Daesh coalition should shift focus to Africa

  • Pompeo urged members of the coalition fighting against Daesh to take extremist detainees back to their countries
  • He vowed that the United States will keep fighting the extremist group

LONDON: There is growing concern about the Daesh threat outside of Iraq and Syria, and the coalition fighting the terrorist organization should focus on west Africa and the Sahel region, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.

Pompeo also urged members of the coalition fighting against Daesh to take extremist detainees back to their countries and step up their funding to help restore infrastructure in Iraq and Syria, parts of which have been severely damaged by conflict.

"Coalition members must take back the thousands of foreign terrorist fighters in custody, and impose accountability for the atrocities they have perpetrated," Pompeo said at the opening of a meeting of foreign ministers from the global coalition to defeat Daesh.
Pompeo vowed that the United States will keep fighting the extremist group, and reassured worried allies convened in Washington.
"The United States will continue to lead the coalition and the world on this essential security effort," Pompeo said as he opened a day of talks in Washington.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the meeting on Thursday and met with Pompeo.

The foreign minister said that two officials discussed “the strong ties” between their countries and “the joint efforts in confronting terrorism in the region and the world.”

Daesh has lost almost all of its territory in Iraq and Syria. Former leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed in a US raid last month, but the militant group remains a security threat in Syria and beyond.
Some 10,000 Daesh detainees and tens of thousands of family members remain in camps and prisons in northeastern Syria guarded by the Syrian Kurdish allies of the United States. Washington is pushing European countries to take their citizens back, but so far they have been reluctant to do so.
(With Reuters)