Carter: ISIS raid a ‘significant blow’ to terror group

Updated 8:26 AM EDT, Mon May 18, 2015
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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
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)
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
(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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(CNN) —  

The U.S. operation that killed a key ISIS commander on Saturday was a “significant blow” to the terror group, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said.

The ISIS commander, Abu Sayyaf, was killed after he fought capture in the raid at al-Omar in eastern Syria, Carter said in a statement. His wife, an Iraqi named Umm Sayyaf, was caught and is being held in Iraq.

Carter said he had ordered the raid against the terror group, also known as ISIL, at the direction of President Barack Obama. All the U.S. troops involved returned safely.

“Abu Sayyaf was involved in ISIL’s military operations and helped direct the terrorist organization’s illicit oil, gas and financial operations as well,” Carter said in the statement. “The operation represents another significant blow to ISIL, and it is a reminder that the United States will never waver in denying safe haven to terrorists who threaten our citizens, and those of our friends and allies.”

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said the President’s national security team unanimously supported the operation, and a White House official told CNN that Obama was regularly briefed while it was ongoing. The leadership of the House Intelligence Committee was briefed before the raid on Friday, a congressional source told CNN, and Meehan said congressional leadership was notified and that there will be additional briefings next week.

She added that the mission was conducted with the “full consent” of Iraqi authorities and was consistent with domestic and international law, though the U.S. did not coordinate with or notify the Syrian regime.

Meehan said U.S. authorities were working to determine the next step in the detainment of Umm Sayyaf, who is believed to be a member of ISIS and “played an important role” in the terror group’s activities.

House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement that while he was “encouraged” by the raid’s success, he remains “gravely concerned” by ISIS’s gains in Ramadi and pushed for legislation that boosts assistance to Iraqi security forces battling the terror group.

“The United States and our coalition partners must continue to do everything in their power to defeat and destroy these savage terrorists,” Boehner said.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, added that ISIS “has proven adept at replacing its commanders and we will need to keep up the pressure on its leadership and financing.”

Other members of Congress weighed in on the mission on Saturday:

Abu Sayyaf was a Tunisian citizen, a senior administration official said.

A U.S. official with direct knowledge of the intelligence and the ground operation described him as “CFO of all of ISIS with expertise in oil and gas” who had an increasing role in operations, planning and communications.

“We now have reams of data on how ISIS operates, communicates and earns its money,” the official told CNN, referring to some of the communications elements, such as computers, seized in the raid.

Preliminary information indicates that the U.S.-led coalition airdropped forces following the bombardment. The ground operation was led by the Army’s Delta Force, sources familiar with the mission told CNN, adding that more than 100 personnel from various branches, including those flying the crew, were involved in the mission.

A senior administration official told CNN the purpose of the raid was to capture the target, but he engaged U.S. forces so he was killed. While the purpose was to capture, the forces had the option to kill if they deemed it necessary, the official said.

CNN’s Barbara Starr, Laura Smith-Spark, Jamie Crawford, Jim Acosta, Sunlen Serfaty, Hamdi Alkhshali, Jason Hanna, Nick Paton Walsh and Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.