August 26, 2015 7:21:36 pm
A 16-year-old British schoolgirl arrested along with a teenage boy allegedly involved in a plot to attack police officers at a parade in Australia has pleaded guilty to two terror charges, including possessing a “recipe for explosives”.
The girl from Manchester, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted two counts of possessing a document containing information of a kind likely to be of use to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism at Manchester Magistrates’ Court. One of the documents was a recipe for explosives.
She was arrested in April following an investigation by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit along with a 14-year-old boy allegedly involved in a plot to attack police at an Anzac Day parade in Australia.
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
The phone data retrieved by police showed she had exchanged more than 2,000 WhatsApp messages a day with the teenage boy before being arrested, the court was told.
However, no evidence was found that she was aware or played any part in the Anzac Day plot or any plan to harm others or incite terrorism in the UK or elsewhere.
The girl used her school’s IT system to search for information on Jihadi John and the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.
Analysis of her mobile phone found instructions for producing a timed circuit, a document about do-it-yourself (DIY) bomb-making and the ‘Anarchist Cookbook 2000’.
The girl also had images of guns, knives and grenades.
She told police that the writing in her sketch pad was related to school work and a chemical recipe in the pad was in response to a children’s TV programme on fireworks.
“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,” said District Judge Khalid Qureshi, granting her bail until October 15 and also agreeing to adjust her bail condition of reporting to police to allow her to attend college.
The judge warned her that his sentencing options would include “immediate custody”.
The boy arrested in the same police investigation had pleaded guilty last month to encouraging the Anzac Day parade plot.
Over a 10-day period, the youngster sent thousands of instant messages to 18-year-old Australian Sevdet Besim, who shared his admiration for the IS terror group.
The boy faces sentencing at Manchester Crown Court on September 3 and is being held in an unidentified youth detention centre in the north west of England.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.