WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 09:  U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (L) and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Paul Selva (R) testify during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee December 9, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on the U.S. strategy to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and U.S. policy toward Iraq and Syria. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 09: U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (L) and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Paul Selva (R) testify during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee December 9, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on the U.S. strategy to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and U.S. policy toward Iraq and Syria. (Photo by Alex Wong/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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(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.
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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
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Story highlights

Carter defended President Barack Obama's ISIS strategy, even as he acknowledged that the organization hadn't been contained

A U.S. official told CNN that any advisers accompanying Iraqi forces would likely stay back from the front line of combat

(CNN) —  

U.S. Gen. Paul Selva withstood one of the most biting rebuttals of the country’s ISIS strategy Wednesday when he told lawmakers the Pentagon would not impose a no-fly zone on Syria because of possible blowback from Russia and Syria.

“We have the military capacity to impose a no-fly zone. The question that we need to ask is do we have the political and policy backdrop with which to do so,” Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Selva told the Senate Armed Services Committee, pointing to the threat of “direct conflict” with Syrian forces or “a miscalculation” with the Russians should they challenge the no-fly zone.

Committee Chairman John McCain, an Arizona Republican, shot back: “I must say, it’s one of the more embarrassing statements I’ve ever heard from a uniformed military officer, that we are worried about Syria and Russia’s reaction to saving the lives of thousands and thousands of Syrians who are being barrel-bombed and massacred.”

The exchange encapsulated a morning of tough grilling by members of the committee as Selva and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter defended the argument Obama made Sunday: the ISIS strategy is working, so give it time.

But even as Carter said that the U.S. is “building momentum against ISIL,” also known as ISIS, he agreed with an assessment from McCain that the terrorist group hadn’t been contained. That contrasts with what President Barack Obama said had been achieved against the organization last month.

Republican members of the panel were impatient, demanding to know how the U.S. would train Syrian forces and why the administration had not enlisted the aid of Arab allies who could provide ground forces.

But even as they were on the defensive, Pentagon officials offered some news of expanding the fight against ISIS, saying they were likely to provide Apache helicopters to Iraqi forces looking to retake Ramadi from ISIS and said they were close to securing special forces help from Arab allies.

More U.S. support on the ground?

Carter raised the prospect Wednesday that U.S. military advisers could accompany Iraqi forces on the ground in the effort to take back Ramadi.

A U.S. official told CNN that any advisers accompanying Iraqi forces would likely stay back from the front line of combat. The official said those helicopters would likely be Apaches.

But the White House cautioned later in the day that nothing was final yet. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Obama has not yet signed off on the Apaches and they would only be used at the request of Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

On Tuesday, Iraqi officials said the Iraqi Security Forces have taken back 60% of Ramadi from ISIS. A U.S. official who spoke to CNN, however, disagreed with that assessment, saying, “they have made some progress, but not that much.”

Carter’s pitch to lawmakers came a few days after Obama delivered a prime time address looking to reassure Americans that his plan for ISIS is working. Carter largely recounted the administration’s efforts so far, but he also asked lawmakers to release $116 million in funding for U.S.-backed forces.

Following a testy exchange with Carter, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham pressed his case for a more expansive authorization of military force for the U.S. effort against ISIS.

“Mr. President, are you all in or not?” asked Graham, who is seeking the 2016 Republican nomination.

Why did Obama declare ISIS ‘contained’ the day before Paris attacks?

Carter defended a three-year time limit in the current authorization and other constraints, as Graham pressed for support of his positions.

“To the Congress: If you don’t like what this president or a future president does, in terms of fighting ISIS, defund it. That’s your job,” Graham said, before turning back to the White House. “I am making a simple proposition to this president that I will give you whatever you need in terms of my authorization to go wherever you need to go as long as it takes to use whatever available tools you have within legal limits to destroy this threat.”

The Senate hearing came two days after Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said that U.S. allies are close to sending their own special forces to the region to aid in the fight against ISIS.

“Although I can’t talk to you about the countries right now, because we are still in the process of discussing with them, we have a number of other countries that we are working with right now to provide additional special operations in Syria and Iraq,” Dunford told U.S. forces in Bahrain Monday during a USO tour of military facilities before the holidays.

Dunford’s comments were first reported by Stars and Stripes.

A U.S. official told CNN the U.S. would like to see special operations forces from the United Kingdom and France take part in the battle against ISIS.

FBI on working with Muslims

At the same time Carter and Selva were testifying, FBI Director James Comey was discussing the recent terror attack in San Bernardino shooters just one floor above them.

At the Senate Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing of the FBI, Graham asked Comey if suggestions that all Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S. harms the FBI’s ability to fight terrorism.

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump has called for all Muslim immigrants to be banned from the United States, warning that there will be additional terror attacks in the U.S. if his temporary ban is not put in place.

Comey said he did not want to “take shots” at any particular presidential candidate, but said estranging Muslims makes the FBI’s work difficult.

“I do believe that our ability to get cooperation in the Untied States depend upon people trusting us and having a level of comfort with us, and estrangement gets in the way of that,” Comey said.

Comey said that terrorists groups often portray the U.S. as anti-Muslim in its recruitment.

’The notion that the U.S is anti-Muslim is part of ISIS’s narrative, al-Qaeda’s narrative and other terrorist groups,’ he said.

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CNN’s Eugene Scott and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.