A 16-year-old girl has pleaded guilty in a British court to possessing an “Anarchy Cookbook” in a case linked to a 14-year-old boy’s plot to inspire a terror attack at an Anzac Day event in Melbourne.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before District Judge Khalid Qureshi in the Manchester Youth Court on Wednesday.
Wearing a grey head scarf and accompanied by her mother and an uncle she sat quietly on a bench before the judge.
The girl, from Manchester, pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing documents containing information likely to be of use to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism, namely a recipe for explosives and The Anarchy Cookbook, also containing bomb recipes.
Police were led to the girl after investigating a teenage boy in the north of England who has pleaded guilty in the Old Bailey court in London to inciting a terror attack aimed at killing police officers at an Anzac Day parade in Melbourne this year.
Police searches of phone communications between the boy and the girl and computers used by them revealed multiple references to terror organisations including the Islamic State group along with searches for terror-related material such as bomb-making.
The boy, who is now aged 15 and is Britain’s youngest convicted terrorist, was communicating with an 18-year-old Australian man to urge him to carry out an IS-inspired attack on police officers at an Anzac Day event in Melbourne this year.
There’s been no evidence the girl was involved in the Anzac Day plot or any other terror plot in the UK.
Judge Qureshi told her on Wednesday that he could sentence her to immediate custody but he continued her bail and called for pre-sentence reports with a view to referring her instead to appropriate authorities.
“One hopes to recommend a non-custodial option,” he said.
The judge said the girl would get “maximum credit” for her guilty plea but urged her in her own interests to be “open and honest” about her offending when interviewed by the Youth Offending Service.
He said he would be asking the girl questions about her conduct to gain insights into her offending.
“In the end I need to understand why it happened.”
The girl returns for sentence in the same court on October 15 with Judge Qureshi continuing her bail conditions of observing an overnight curfew at her home, reporting to police, not applying for travel documents and not leaving England or Wales.