Air Force intel uses ISIS ‘moron’ post to track fighters

Updated 5:15 PM EDT, Fri June 5, 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
Greater Manchester Police
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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(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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(CNN) —  

Although ISIS is known for using social media for recruitment purposes, U.S. Air Force intelligence has been using it to track down Islamic State militants, according to Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command.

“These guys that are working down at Hurlburt (Florida), they’re combing through social media. And they see some moron standing at this command and control capability for Da’Esh, ISIL. These guys go, ‘ah we got an in,’” Carlisle said at a speech in Arlington, Virginia, on Monday.

Twenty-two hours after seeing the post, U.S. warplanes went in for the kill.

“Long story short…three JDAMs take the entire building out,” Carlisle said in the speech to the Air Force Association.

A JDAM is a kit attached to a conventional bomb that converts it into a “smart” weapon, according the U.S. Navy. The kit, made by Boeing and put in the tail of the bombs, uses a global positioning system and internal navigation system to guide the bombs onto targets.

Using GPS coordinates, JDAM bombs have an error rate of less than 40 feet, the Navy says.

An F-15E Strike Eagle, capable of carrying JDAM bombs, flies a combat patrol mission over Afghanistan.
U.S. Air Force/FILE
An F-15E Strike Eagle, capable of carrying JDAM bombs, flies a combat patrol mission over Afghanistan.
 A weapons loader prepares a 2,000-pound GBU-31 joint direct attack munition for a mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Jessica Kochman/USAF
A weapons loader prepares a 2,000-pound GBU-31 joint direct attack munition for a mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Boeing said in 2013 it had produced more than a quarter-million JDAMs for the U.S. and its allies.

JDAM units can placed on 2,000-, 1,000- and 500-pound bombs, which can be carried by a variety of Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. An Air Force B-2 bomber can deploy 80 JDAMs in a single pass, the Navy says.

Why ISIS is winning and how to stop it

Carlisle did not give details of the type of JDAM bomb or aircraft used, but he gushed about the team at Hurlburt Field, home of the Air Force’s 1st Special Operations Wing.

“Incredible work when you think about it,” Carlisle said of the operation. “And it was these incredible airmen out there doing those kind of things,” Carlisle said.

The Islamic group has published approximately 1,700 pictures, videos and other publications all across social media and have gained at least 200,000 readers on Twitter, experts told Congress, according to the Air Force Times.

With more than 1,500 pictures, videos and publications scattered across social media, ISIS has managed to capture the attention of around 3,400 Westerners and at least 200 Americans to join their ranks, said Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Social media has been a central focus for propagandists to recruit, share their experiences and show off their triumphs. However, U.S. intel, specifically airmen, have been avidly searching across social media to track down ISIS whereabouts to actively respond.

ISIS exploits social media to make inroads in U.S.

CNN’s Barbara Starr and Brad Lendon contributed to this report.