Pregnant British mother guilty of U.S. terror charges after drawing up hit list of ‘enemies of Islam’
By David Gardner
Last updated at 11:41 AM on 23rd July 2010
A pregnant British mother has been convicted in the U.S. of lying to the FBI about drawing up a hit-list of possible terrorist targets.
The intelligence agency alleged that Nadia Rockwood, 36, along with her husband, compiled a list of 15 Americans who they believed were enemies of Islam.
The couple pleaded guilty to charges of lying to investigators and making false statements about domestic terrorism when they appeared in court in Anchorage, Alaska.
FBI alleged that Paul Rockwood (left) along with his British wife, Nadia, compiled a list of 15 Americans who they believed were enemies of Islam
Under a plea bargain deal, Muslim convert Paul Rockwood, 35, who worked for the U.S. Weather Service, will get eight years behind bars, the maximum allowed.
His wife will be allowed to come back to the UK to serve five years of probation.
She was reportedly planning to return to live near her mother in England when the couple were arrested.
The alleged targets were not named in court, but none of them lived in Alaska.
Nadia, who is five months pregnant and has a four-year-old son, was brought up as a strict Roman Catholic in Harrow, North London and attended the Italia Conti performing arts school, where she studied ballet and jazz.
She worked as a professional dancer before moving to Japan to work as a bridal model, where she met Paul, who was then with the U.S. Navy.
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The relationship caused furious arguments back home with her and her parents, Samuel and Piri Hawes. Last night they revealed that Paul had converted to Islam after 9/11 in order to try to control a serious drink problem.
Mr Hawes, a 67-year-old engineer, said he had spent years arguing with Paul about religion and had received threatening emails recently from his son-in-law after a row about Islam.
‘I’m against any form of terrorism, especially in the name of religion,’ he said.
‘I know my daughter. We are very close. She is not in any way a terrorist. Paul has strong views but he loves America.
‘He is a bit of a prat but I can’t believe he would have got himself involved in anything like this.’
Mrs Hawes, a 66-year-old psychotherapist, said her daughter, is struggling to cope while in custody and insisted she is innocent.
‘Doctors have put her on extra medication to try to make sure the baby stays healthy. And she has her boy, Zaid – what will happen with him?’
The case raised questions in the U.S. last night because the Rockwoods were not held in custody before appearing in court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors alleged that Paul Rockwood, also known as ‘Bilal’, converted to Islam a decade ago and began studying the teachings of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who has professed hatred for the U.S. and supports acts of terrorism.
‘After his conversion, and while residing in Virginia, Rockwood became a strict adherent to the violent Jihad-promoting ideology of al-Awlaki,’ documents said.
‘This included a personal conviction that it was his religious responsibility to exact revenge by death on anyone who desecrated Islam.’
The FBI claimed Rockwood began researching and selecting possible targets for future execution by visiting websites.
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