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"I am most definitely not guilty of that, but on advice I will plead guilty"
—Connor entering guilty plea
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Christine Connor is a Northern Irish terrorist who bombed police officers in May 2013. She posed online as a Swedish supermodel to lure a British man into joining her plot; he took his own life prior to trial. Connor was jailed in 2017.

On May 16, 2013 Connor made a hoax 999 emergency call to lure police officers.[1] She threw pipe bombs at responding police, but they failed to explode.[2]

She performed a similar attack two weeks later on May 28.[1] This time she was accompanied by Stuart Downes, a 31-year-old British man.[3] She lured Downes by posing as a Swedish supermodel,[4] using an online profile with photos she had found of Swedish model, fashion designer, and blogger Sanne Andersson.[2] A hoax 999 call lured officers to the aid of a vulnerable woman in Crumlin Road, Belfast.[3] Downes then threw two pipe bombs at two responding police officers.[3] The officers, who were in a vehicle,[4] were unhurt,[2] but shrapnel flew 35m and lodged in nearby homes.[3]

Following the attack a phone box in Shrewsbury, England was used to claim responsibility, and investigators were able to trace Downes from this call.[3] The Police Service of Northern Ireland teamed up with West Mercia Police to investigate.[2] Police then used CCTV from Crumlin Road to identify Connors.[1] Investigators used mobile phone records, computer data, and social networking material to confirm the link between the two.[2]

Both were charged but Downes took his life in June 2016 before he could go to trial.[1][4] Downes was not linked to any terror groups but called herself United Struggle,[3] and had claimed to be "at war" with police.[4]

In May 2017 she admitted possessing explosives with intent to endanger life and causing an explosion in relation to the May 16, 2013 attack. She also admitted another count of each offence plus attempted murder for the second bombing and a charge of preparing terrorist acts between February 2013 and May 2013 which related to research into explosives. She said she was innocent of all six charges but pleased guilty anyway "on advice", and her pleas were accepted by the judge.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Belfast woman Christine Connor pleads guilty to terrorist offences including police murder bid - The Belfast Telegraph
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 'Lone wolf' dissident Christine Connor posed as model to lure murder-bid accomplice - Irish News
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 British man lured into hurling bombs at Irish police by dissident Republican posing as a supermodel - The Telegraph
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 'Lone-wolf dissident' Connor admits terror charges - BBC

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