UK schoolgirl admits IS terror charges
The 16-year-old, who cannot be named, used her school computers to look up Islamic State (IS) killer Jihadi John.
She was detained by anti-terror police in April along with Britain’s youngest convicted Islamist terrorist, a boy of 14 from Blackburn, Lancashire, who admitted encouraging an IS-inspired terror attack on the annual Anzac parade. He pled guilty at the Old Bailey last month to inciting terrorism abroad.
Phone data retrieved by police from her BlackBerry showed the pair exchanged more than 2,000 WhatsApp messages a day before they were arrested.
The girl also used her school’s IT system to search for information on Jihadi John, the terror group IS and images of Michael Adebolajo, the killer of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich in 2013.
Neither of the teenagers can be named due to their age. The girl, who has no previous convictions or cautions, admitted two offences under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Wearing a headscarf and striped cardigan, she was excused from sitting in the dock at the Youth Court at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and instead sat on a bench in front of the judge, flanked by her mother, an uncle and her solicitor. She spoke only to confirm her name and age and pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of documents on or before 3 April likely to be of use to anyone preparing or committing an act of terrorism. One was a recipe for explosives.
An analysis of her Blackberry found instructions for producing a timed circuit, a document about DIY bomb-making and the Anarchist Cookbook 2000. No evidence was found that she was aware of or played any part in the Anzac Day plot or any plan to harm others or incite terrorism in the UK or elsewhere, the court heard.
She was granted bail by District Judge Khalid Qureshi, who agreed to adjust her bail condition of reporting to police to allow her to attend college.
Her bail conditions include a curfew, reporting to police three times a week, a ban on applying for travel documents or a passport and a ban on travelling outside England and Wales. She will be seen by a youth offending team and a psychologist before she is sentenced on 15 October.
Judge Qureshi warned her his sentencing options include custody, adding: “The youth offending team will want to interview you and your family.
“It is very much in your interests you are open and honest with them about what’s happened, if you are able to tell them why you got involved in what you got involved in.
“I will be asking you some questions directly about your conduct, your behaviour, why you think it has happened. I need to try to understand why this happened.”