THE head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command is reminding people to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity after a Hayes woman was jailed for a plot to bomb three busy London locations.

Safiyya Shaikh, 37, was sentenced to life in prison, to serve a minimum term of 14 years, for a plot to carry out terrorist attacks at a train station, a hotel and St Paul’s Cathedral. 

Commander Richard Smith said: “As the lockdown restrictions ease and our public spaces start to open up again, it is vital the public remains vigilant and reports anything suspicious to police. We need your help.”

The Old Bailey heard how Shaikh was arrested in October following a joint Met Police and MI5 investigation using undercover officers.

Shaikh believed one of the officers, with whom she spoke online, would be able to help her obtain explosives. She gave another undercover officer two bags, which she hoped would be converted into bombs.

She told an undercover officer how she planned to leave one of these bombs inside St Paul’s and another in a nearby hotel. She talked about setting off the third – in the form of a suicide vest – at a train station.

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She said she wanted to carry out an attack like that in Sri Lanka last year, in which suicide bombers killed hundreds of people in hotels and at a church on Easter Sunday.

The court heard that Shaikh converted to Islam in 2007 after being impressed by the kindness of a Muslim family. After a time, she sought out people online who had extremist views.

She then began trying to radicalise others via a Telegram Channel called ‘GreenB1irds’, through which she shared terrorist propaganda posters and videos, some of which she created herself.

The material included videos of Daesh terrorists executing people and posters calling for attack on locations across the world.

She pleaded guilty to one count of preparing terrorist acts and one of dissemination of terrorist publications.

Cdr Smith concluded: "Shaikh was dedicated to her extremist beliefs. In addition to wanting to carry out her own sickening attack on UK soil, she hoped to inspire others to implement attack plans even after she had died.

“Thanks to the hard work of officers from both the Met Police and MI5, she is instead in jail.”