Safiyya Shaikh: How undercover operation caught a drug addict jihadist

  • 3 July 2020
  • From the section UK
Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Safiyya Shaikh in 2015 before she became deeply involved in extremism

A supporter of the banned Islamic State terror group has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 14 years after admitting a plot to blow herself up in a bomb attack on St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Muslim convert Safiyya Shaikh was caught after an elaborate operation - but her case raised doubts in court about whether the drug-addicted and emotionally damaged woman would ever have gone through with the attack.

Shortly before midday on 24 September last year at Uxbridge London Underground station, Safiyya Shaikh had finished wiping away her tears.

She'd found a soulmate - a woman called Azra, who had consoled her as she poured her heart out. And then Shaikh, happy she had found someone who understood, handed over two pink bags so that her new friend could take them away and fill them with bombs to blow up St Paul's Cathedral.

As they parted, Azra would probably have stopped the covert recording she had been making. She and other undercover investigators had slowly, patiently, reeled in Shaikh - saving London from an appalling attack.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Bag for bomb: On her way to meet an undercover officer

Read full article Safiyya Shaikh: How undercover operation caught a drug addict jihadist

Woman in £16m Harrods spend loses wealth seizure challenge

  • 5 February 2020
  • From the section UK
Zamira Hajiyeva Image copyright PA Media

A woman who blew £16m of unexplained wealth in Harrods has lost her appeal against a National Crime Agency bid to seize her luxury London home.

The Court of Appeal has rejected Zamira Hajiyeva's attempt to stop the UK's first ever Unexplained Wealth Order from being implemented against her.

Read full article Woman in £16m Harrods spend loses wealth seizure challenge

Woman in £16m Harrods spend fights wealth seizure

  • 12 December 2019
  • From the section UK
Zamira Hajiyeva Image copyright PA Media

The wife of a jailed banker is fighting to overturn the UK's first Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO).

Zamira Hajiyeva, who spent £16m in Harrods, faces losing her £15m Knightsbridge home and a Berkshire golf course to the National Crime Agency.

Read full article Woman in £16m Harrods spend fights wealth seizure

Grenfell: Seven key points from the report

  • 30 October 2019
  • From the section UK
Grenfell Tower Image copyright Getty Images

The report of the first phase of the Grenfell Tower fire reveals how the fire began, spread and became a disaster. These are some of the key findings which will influence the deeper investigation of the inquiry's second phase - into how it could happen in the first place.

There was swift action by the resident of the flat where it began

The first 999 call came from Behailu Kebede at 00:54 BST, who lived in Flat 16. His smoke alarm woke him up and he saw what was in all probability an electrical fire at the back of his fridge freezer. He called for help, alerted neighbours and waited for the London Fire Brigade to arrive.

Read full article Grenfell: Seven key points from the report

What is the UK Supreme Court?

  • 13 January 2020
  • From the section UK
Lady Hale Image copyright Supreme Court HO

Lady Hale, the brooch-wearing judge who delivered the ruling that Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament was unlawful, has retired from the UK Supreme Court.

Who will follow her as its president and what does the Supreme Court do?

Who is Lady Hale and who will replace her?

Read full article What is the UK Supreme Court?

Migration data: Why is it so hard to count people?

  • 22 August 2019
  • From the section UK
Picture showing family entering the UK

The UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) has downgraded the reliability of its own method for measuring migration, after discovering serious flaws in its methodology. So do we ever really know the scale of UK migration?

The headline migration figure is the number of people arriving in the UK who are planning to stay for at least a year, minus the people who are leaving the UK and planning to be away for at least a year.

Read full article Migration data: Why is it so hard to count people?

Tommy Robinson: The rancour, rhetoric and riches of brand Tommy

  • 11 July 2019
  • From the section UK
Tommy Robinson greets his followers outside the Old Bailey in July 2019 Image copyright PA Media

It's May 2019.

A small crowd surrounds a mobile screen on the Brinnington council estate in Stockport. They've gathered to hear Tommy Robinson who wants to become their Member of the European Parliament. He says he's speaking for them - standing up against the elites in politics and the media.

Read full article Tommy Robinson: The rancour, rhetoric and riches of brand Tommy

The day I tried to be an MI5 spook

  • 2 July 2019
  • From the section UK
MI5's London headquarters Image copyright Reuters
Image caption MI5: A secret organisation that's not as secret as it once was

So there I was inside MI5's London's headquarters and under pressure to decide where I should send the last available undercover surveillance team.

And the more I agonised over which suspects they should follow, the harder it became for me to know if my decision was the right one.

Read full article The day I tried to be an MI5 spook

Jack Letts: Why jihadi's parents are guilty of funding terrorism

  • 20 August 2019
  • From the section UK
John Letts and Sally Lane arrive at the Old Bailey Image copyright PA

A former charity fundraiser and an organic farmer have been convicted of funding terrorism by sending cash to their son in Syria. So how did Sally Lane and John Letts end up before a jury in the Old Bailey?

In the words of one judge, they were "two perfectly decent people... in custody because of the love of their child".

Read full article Jack Letts: Why jihadi's parents are guilty of funding terrorism

Zamira Hajiyeva: How the wife of a jailed banker spent £16m in Harrods

  • 28 May 2019
  • From the section UK
Zamira Hajiyeva Image copyright Gustavo Valiente
Image caption Zamira Hajiyeva: Centre of NCA investigation

It is perhaps the shopping bill to end all shopping bills.

Documents disclosed to the BBC have revealed how a woman married to a jailed banker managed to spend £16m in Harrods without raising suspicions.

Read full article Zamira Hajiyeva: How the wife of a jailed banker spent £16m in Harrods