Teenage girl from Manchester given a extended referral order for 12 months

A teenage girl has been sentenced for a number of terrorism offences. 

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to two counts of section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 at an earlier hearing. 

She was sentenced on Thursday 15 October 2015, at Manchester Magistrates Court and received a 12 month referral order. 

Following an investigation into a 14-year-year-old boy from Blackburn, officers from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NWCTU) became aware there had been contact between the boy and the girl via a messaging service. 

The boy had sent her a screenshot of a conversation he had with a man in Australia, encouraging him to take part in an attack on the Anzac parade in Melbourne. She had replied and commented she had her own plans. 

As a result of this message, on 3 April 2015, officers from the Tactical Aid Unit and North West Counter Terrorism Unit executed a warrant at a house in Longsight and arrested the girl. 

During the search, her mobile phone and a sketch pad were recovered. 

The phone was examined and found to contain images of guns, knives, grenades, radical figures such as Osama Bin Laden, ISIS symbols and publications and an image of people about to be executed. 

On the memory card, a cookbook was found which explained how to make a wide range of explosives including exploding light bulbs and a nail grenade. 

Officers found evidence of a total of 16,260 messages sent between the girl and teenage boy, discussing marriage and their lives together. This was between 18 March and 25 March 2015. 

In the sketch book, officers found a recipe of how to create explosives with chemicals. 

Police also discovered the girl had conducted internet searches for the Taliban, Islamic State and ISIS executioner Jihadi John. 

The girl's lawyer, Nasir Hafezi, said the case had been a "troubling" one.

"A very sad milestone for the Youth Court," he said.

In a statement, Mr Hafezi said it had highlighted the need for greater guidance and support for young people.

"The lesson here is if we as a society, fail to provide guidance or challenge views which are clearly inappropriate and naive, or we fail to provide those spaces for young people to explore their faith and citizenship, then the consequences may be that some young people will gain what may be described as 'flawed ideas'," he said.

"They could be vulnerable to being misguided by sinister people and messages they come across from the unregulated and dark places which exist in the virtual world of the internet and social media platforms."

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit said: “We do not know whether the girl would have carried out any specific attack on a specific area but we do know she had all the information at hand to create explosives that could seriously injure or kill someone. 

“When we seized her phone, it was clear the girl was downloading images of Islamic State material and propaganda as well as images of different weapons. The cook book had explicit instructions on how to combine certain chemicals to create explosions as well as how to build homemade bombs. 

“We also discovered conversations between her and the boy from Blackburn although both were not involved with each other’s plans. 

“This is another reminder of how important it is for the community and families of those who believe their loved one may be in danger of becoming radicalised to call police as soon as possible. We all share a responsibility of tackling extremism and helping keep our communities safe. If you have any suspicions at all, please call us.”