Kashmiri demonstrators hold up a flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a demonstration against Israeli military operations in Gaza, in downtown Srinagar on July 18, 2014. The death toll in Gaza hit 265 as Israel pressed a ground offensive on the 11th day of an assault aimed at stamping out rocket fire, medics said. AFP PHOTO/Tauseef MUSTAFA        (Photo credit should read TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)
TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images
Kashmiri demonstrators hold up a flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a demonstration against Israeli military operations in Gaza, in downtown Srinagar on July 18, 2014. The death toll in Gaza hit 265 as Israel pressed a ground offensive on the 11th day of an assault aimed at stamping out rocket fire, medics said. AFP PHOTO/Tauseef MUSTAFA (Photo credit should read TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)
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A man from Lancashire who encouraged Islamic extremists to wage jihad in the West, including targeting Prince George and injecting poison in to supermarket ice-cream, has been convicted today (31 May).
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 ìeven the royal family will not be left aloneî.
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 ìRepunzelî, with information about methods of shooting down aircraft and jamming missile systems.
All the offences relate to Rashidís activities online between October 2016 and his arrest in November 2017.
Rashidís trial started on 23 May at Woolwich Crown Court but he changed his plea to guilty on four counts on 31 May. He will be sentenced on 28 June.
Sue Hemming from the CPS said: ìHusnain 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.
ìHe 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.
ìThe judge will now deci
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A man from Lancashire who encouraged Islamic extremists to wage jihad in the West, including targeting Prince George and injecting poison in to supermarket ice-cream, has been convicted today (31 May). 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 ìeven the royal family will not be left aloneî. 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 ìRepunzelî, with information about methods of shooting down aircraft and jamming missile systems. All the offences relate to Rashidís activities online between October 2016 and his arrest in November 2017. Rashidís trial started on 23 May at Woolwich Crown Court but he changed his plea to guilty on four counts on 31 May. He will be sentenced on 28 June. Sue Hemming from the CPS said: ìHusnain 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. ìHe 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. ìThe judge will now deci
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FILE - In this undated file photo released by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, militants of the Islamic State group hold up their weapons and wave flags on their vehicles in a convoy on a road leading to Iraq, while riding in Raqqa, Syria. Simultaneous attacks on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa, the de facto IS capital across the border in eastern Syria, would make military sense: They would make it harder for the extremists to move reinforcements and deny them a safe haven. (Militant website via AP, File)
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FILE - In this undated file photo released by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, militants of the Islamic State group hold up their weapons and wave flags on their vehicles in a convoy on a road leading to Iraq, while riding in Raqqa, Syria. Simultaneous attacks on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa, the de facto IS capital across the border in eastern Syria, would make military sense: They would make it harder for the extremists to move reinforcements and deny them a safe haven. (Militant website via AP, File)
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(FILES) This image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. 
The Russian army on June 16, 2017 said it hit Islamic State leaders in an airstrike in Syria last month and was seeking to verify whether IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed. In a statement, the army said Sukhoi warplanes carried out a 10-minute night-time strike on May 28 at a location near Raqa, where IS leaders had gathered to plan a pullout by militants from the group's stronghold.
 / AFP PHOTO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA / --/AFP/Getty Images
(FILES) This image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The Russian army on June 16, 2017 said it hit Islamic State leaders in an airstrike in Syria last month and was seeking to verify whether IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed. In a statement, the army said Sukhoi warplanes carried out a 10-minute night-time strike on May 28 at a location near Raqa, where IS leaders had gathered to plan a pullout by militants from the group's stronghold. / AFP PHOTO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA / --/AFP/Getty Images
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Story highlights

NEW: Airstrikes hit 10 targets in an ISIS stronghold in Libya, Egypt's foreign minister says

NEW: Islamist militias in the city say the bombings killed women and children

ISIS had released a video that appeared to show the beheadings of Egyptian Christians

(CNN) —  

Egypt’s military carried out a series of airstrikes against ISIS militants in Libya on Monday in retaliation for the slaughter of 21 Egyptian Christians by the jihadist group.

The bombing raids pulled Egypt deeper into the widening international fight against ISIS and highlighted the extremists’ growing presence in North Africa.

The warplanes hit 10 targets used for training and storage in ISIS’ Libyan stronghold of Derna, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told CNN.

“Avenging Egyptian blood and punishing criminals and murderers is our right and duty,” the Egyptian military said in a statement that was broadcast on state television.

Islamists warn of ‘harsh and painful’ response

There were conflicting claims about what the bombs had struck.

“These were surgical strikes based on very accurate intelligence and related to degrading the capabilities of ISIS within the city of Derna,” Shoukry told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

But an umbrella group of Islamist militias in Derna issued a statement saying that the city “woke up to a disaster today as Egyptian military jets targeted civilians in residential areas in the city.”

The statement reported that the bombings had killed women and children, and it warned the Egyptian government of a “harsh and painful” response to come.

CNN couldn’t independently verify what damage and casualties the airstrikes had caused.

Egypt’s aerial assault came after ISIS released a gruesome video Sunday that appeared to show militants beheading at least a dozen Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach.

Threats from English-speaking jihadi

The footage, bearing many of the hallmarks of previous ISIS videos of the killing of hostages, has intensified international concerns about ISIS’ deepening reach into countries far beyond its strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

The slickly produced video shows the apparent mass killing, with jihadists in black standing behind each of the victims, who are all dressed in orange jumpsuits with their hands cuffed behind them.

Twenty-one Egyptian Christians were kidnapped in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte in two separate incidents in December and January. They were reportedly from impoverished villages and went to Libya looking for work.

Although the ISIS video showed around a dozen men being beheaded, Egyptian officials said that all 21 Christians were believed to have been killed.

Some of the hostages cry out “Oh God” and “Oh Jesus” as they are pushed to their knees.

The five-minute video, released by ISIS’ propaganda wing al-Hayat Media, includes a masked English-speaking jihadi who says, “The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah, we will mix it with your blood.”

The video threatens Egypt, which shares a long border with Libya, and also Europe, whose shores lie across the Mediterranean Sea.

’The right of retaliation’

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had warned Sunday that his country “reserves the right of retaliation and with the methods and timing it sees fit for retribution for those murderers and criminals who are without the slightest humanity.”

He also declared a week of mourning in the Muslim majority nation for the slain Christians.

In a statement, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry called for other nations battling ISIS to support Egypt’s efforts and to target terrorists in Libya, as well.

The U.S. government condemned the killings, saying ISIS’ “barbarity knows no bounds.” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Sunday to offer condolences, the State Department said.

Egypt is already fighting against ISIS-allied militants on its own territory in the Sinai Peninsula, where dozens of people were killed in a series of attacks in January.

Growing ISIS presence in Libya

Concern has increased over ISIS’ rising influence in Libya amid the power and security vacuum prevalent in the country since the 2011 uprising that overthrew former dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

CNN reported in November that fighters loyal to ISIS had complete control of the city of Derna, which has a population of about 100,000 and is situated not far from the Egyptian border.

Jihadists with allegiance to ISIS had also expanded their presence westward along the Libyan coast, forming chapters in cities including Benghazi, Sirte and even Tripoli, the capital, according to Noman Benotman, a former Libyan jihadist now involved in counterterrorism for the Quilliam Foundation.

In an example of the group’s spreading reach, a Libyan branch of ISIS claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Tripoli that killed 10 people, including one American.

“There’s been a real radical Islamist presence in Libya for some time,” said Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer. “What’s worrying is now they are self-identifying with ISIS.”

Ties between ISIS branches

Questions remain over how much direct command and control the ISIS leadership in Syria and Iraq has over its North African affiliates.

The killings of the Egyptian Christians has filled in some of the detail. Before the grisly video was released, ISIS had released photos in its English-language magazine Dabiq, claiming they had been killed.

“There’s certainly communication between the Libyan affiliate and the affiliate in Syria about matters of importance to both of them,” said CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen.

He said the ties between Libyan jihadists and ISIS’ precursor, al Qaeda in Iraq, “go back a very long time.”

The links between the different branches present “a real challenge” for Western leaders, Francona said, as U.S. President Barack Obama asked Congress to formally authorize the use of military force in the war against ISIS.

“While we can come up with a military solution or a military operation in a restricted area like Syria and Iraq, what do we do when it expands to North Africa?” Francona asked.

CNN’s Ian Lee, Jomana Karadsheh, Ryan Buckley and Yousuf Basil contributed to this report.