UK schoolgirl guilty of terror offences spared jail

LONDON (TIP): A British schoolgirl who admitted two terror offences of possessing “recipes for explosives” and a bomb-making guide was on Thursday spared a custodial sentence after she pleaded to a youth court to let herĀ “prove that I am not a terrorist.”

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested by anti-terrorism police in April and Manchester Youth Court gave her a 12-month referral order with youth offending teams to address her radicalisation.

The court heard she had intended to hack into the White House and became obsessed with suicide bombings after becoming radicalised online.

Sitting in court, flanked by her mother and an aunt, she told the judge: “I deeply regret what I have done. I wish to make changes if I get the chance to prove I am not a terrorist.”

Passing sentence, District Judge Khalid Qureshi said: “It must be every parent’s worst nightmare to discover their child has been accessing material they should not, of whatever type.”

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The girl had used her school’s IT system to search for information on the Islamic State terror group, its militant known as “Jihadi John”, and images of Michael Adebolajo, who killed British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street in 2013.

Analysis of her mobile phone found instructions for producing a timed circuit, a document about DIY bomb-making and the Anarchist Cookbook 2000.

The inquiry also led to the arrest of a boy, 14, who admitted involvement in a plot to attack police in Australia on Anzac Day, held on 25 April each year to commemorate the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps’ in the World War One battle of Gallipoli.

The boy, now 15, was jailed for life earlier this month at London’s Old Bailey court after pleading guilty to inciting terrorism abroad.

The girl had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two offences under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, of possessing documents likely to be of use to anyone preparing or committing an act of terrorism.

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 was told.

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