Parents defend terror case Briton

The parents of a pregnant British mother accused of being part of a US terrorism plot have protested her innocence, it emerged today.

Nadia Rockwood, 36, admitted lying to FBI agents about the existence of a hit list of possible targets when she appeared in court in Anchorage, Alaska, alongside her American husband Paul, 35.



The two were also charged with making false statements about terrorism during interviews in May.



But Mrs Rockwood's parents, Samuel and Piri Hawes, have insisted their daughter is not a terrorist.



Mr Hawes, a 67-year-old engineer, said: "I'm against any form of terrorism, especially in the name of religion."



He told the Daily Mail: "I know my daughter. We are very close. She is not in any way a terrorist. Paul has strong views but he loves America."



Mr Hawes said he had spent years arguing with his son-in-law about religion and had received threatening emails from him after a row about Islam.



The couple said Mr Rockwood, also known as Bilal, converted to Islam after 9/11 to try to control a serious drink problem.



US prosecutors said he began studying the teachings of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who has professed a hatred for the US and supported acts of terrorism, about a decade ago when the couple lived in Virginia.



"He is a bit of a prat but I can't believe he would have got himself involved in anything like this," Mr Hawes said.



Meanwhile Mrs Hawes, a 66-year-old psychotherapist, said her daughter, who is five months pregnant and has a four-year-old son, is struggling to cope while in custody.



She told the paper: "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?"



When the couple were arrested, Mrs Rockwood was reportedly planning to return to live near her mother in England.



Before moving to the US, she was employed as a professional dancer. She left the UK to work as a bridal model in Japan where she met her husband, who was a member of the US Navy.



According to the paper, Mrs Rockwood 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.



Federal authorities have claimed her husband selected possible targets for future execution by visiting websites.



After he moved to Alaska, they said he began researching explosive components, construction of remote triggering devices, such as mobile phones, and construction of bombs to be delivered by common mail carriers.



They claimed he began discussing using mail bombs and possibly killing targets by gunshot to the head last year.



He was alleged to have given the list of around 15 targets to his wife in April before she took it to Anchorage, where it was picked up by the FBI. Its contents were not made public.



In court Mrs Rockwood admitted she was aware her husband wanted to seek revenge and knew the purpose of the list. But when questioned, she denied delivering the list and claimed it was a book or letter.



Interviewed by the the FBI, her husband denied having had a list, insisted he did not create it and rejected its alleged purpose.



Under a plea deal, Mr Rockwood, who worked as a meteorological technician for the US national weather service, would serve eight years in prison and his wife would get five years' probation in the UK.



US District Judge Ralph Beistline did not immediately approve the deal, but postponed sentencing.



Mr Rockwood is being held in custody while his wife is to be released to take care of their son until her sentencing.



US Attorney for Alaska Karen Loeffler said the case was the first of its kind in King Salmon, a small community of a few hundred people on the Alaska Peninsula.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk