Online jihadi who called for attack on Prince George jailed for life
A man from Lancashire who encouraged Islamic extremists to wage jihad in the West, including targeting Prince George and injecting poison into supermarket ice-cream, has been sentenced today (13 July).
Husnain Rashid, 32, posted messages online glorifying successful terrorist atrocities committed by others while encouraging and inciting his readers to plan and commit attacks.
One of his posts included a photograph of Prince George, along with the address of his school, a black silhouette of a jihad fighter and the message “even the royal family will not be left alone”.
Rashid was given a life sentence and ordered to serve at least 25 years in prison.
His common theme was that attacks could be carried out by one individual acting alone. Rashid suggested perpetrators had the option of using poisons, vehicles, weapons, bombs, chemicals or knives. Rashid uploaded terrorist material to an online library he created with the goal of helping others plan an attack.
He also planned to travel to Turkey and Syria with the intention of fighting in Daesh-controlled territories. He contacted individuals he believed to be in Daesh territory, seeking advice on how to reach Syria and how to obtain the required authorisation necessary to join a fighting group.
Rashid provided one individual who had travelled to Syria and was known online as “Repunzel”, with information about methods of shooting down aircraft and jamming missile systems.
All the offences relate to Rashid’s activities online between October 2016 and his arrest in November 2017.
Rashid’s trial started on 23 May at Woolwich Crown Court but he changed his plea to guilty on four counts on 31 May.
Sue Hemming from the CPS said:
“Husnain Rashid is an extremist who not only sought to encourage others to commit attacks on targets in the West but was planning to travel aboard so he could fight himself.
“He tried to argue that he had not done anything illegal but with the overwhelming weight of evidence against him he changed his plea to guilty."
Notes to editors
- Husnain Rashid (dob 30/04/1986) pleaded guilty to:
- Count 1: Engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to section 5(1)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006. This relates to his plans to travel to Syria.
- Count 2: Engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to section 5(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2006. This relates to assisting another to commit acts of terrorism and engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to that intention.
- Count 3: engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to section 5(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2006. This relates to creating an online publication, uploading terrorist publications and researching a terror attack in the UK.
- Count 4: Encouraging terrorism, contrary to section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006. This relates to publishing statements intending to directly or indirectly encourage members of the public to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism. This included a photograph of Prince George, along with the address of his school, and a black silhouette of a jihad fighter and message “even the royal family will not be left alone”.
- Sue Hemming is the Head of the Counter-Terrorism Division in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).