Prince George school attack plotter from Nelson jailed

An Islamic State supporter who called for an attack on Prince George has been jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years.
Husnain Rashid has been jailed for life.Husnain Rashid has been jailed for life.
Husnain Rashid has been jailed for life.

Husnain Rashid, of Nelson, had maintained his innocence throughout proceedings at Woolwich Crown Court, but dramatically changed his plea at the end of the prosecution opening and admitted a string of terror offences.

The 32-year-old used a Telegram chat group to call on supporters on October 13th to target the four-year-old heir to the throne, who had started at Thomas's Battersea, in south-west London, a month earlier.

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He also posted suggestions of which British football stadiums terrorists could strike following the deadly attack outside Besiktas's ground in Turkey, and plotted to inject ice cream with poison.

Rashid, of Leonard Street, posted a photograph of the prince at the school super-imposed with silhouettes of two masked jihad fighters.

Sentencing him, Judge Andrew Lees said: "The message was clear - you were providing the name and address of Prince George's school, an image of Prince George's school and the instruction or threat that Prince George and other members of the royal family should be viewed as potential targets."

He added: "You provided what you regarded as inspiration for suitable targets for lone wolf terror attacks.

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"Attacks in Western countries were in your eyes the only suitable acceptable alternative to jihad itself."

Rashid admitted three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, and was given a life sentence for each, with a minimum term of 25 years, and one count of encouraging terrorism.

Two further charges of dissemination of a terrorist publication were laid on file.

The offences spanned from October 2016 to April this year.

During his May trial, prosecutor Annabel Darlow told the court Rashid messaged the Telegram group with a picture of the young prince, saying: "Even the royal family will not be left alone."

He added: "School starts early."

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A magazine he was producing contained suggestions to strike the 2018 World Cup in Russia with vehicles, weapons or bombs.

Rashid, who is said to have taught at the Muhammadi mosque, ran a "prolific" Telegram channel named the Lone Mujahid where he provided an "e-toolkit for terrorism", the prosecution said.

This allegedly included a recipe for the poison ricin from the Islamist propaganda magazine Inspire, how to make Molotov cocktails and napalm, and a suggestion of poisoning supermarket ice creams.

His list of targets were wide-ranging - including British Army bases, shopping centres, Jewish communities and Government buildings.

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He also suggested that he planned to flee to Syria to fight for IS.

Judge Lees said Rashid's plans were "indiscriminate" and made no distinction between adult and child, between members of fighting forces and civilians.

His suggestions included injecting poison into supermarket ice creams and targeting Prince George at his first school.

He also plotted to bring down an aircraft with lasers with a British terrorist in Syria, the court heard.

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Rashid also posted a photograph of the Burmese ambassador to the UK, saying: "You know what to do", urging others to "fight and spill the blood to the apes in your land" and calling for others to "start preparing tools and weapons/explosives".