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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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Story highlights

The U.S. has known for some time ISIS planned to attack around the world

"It's not a sign of weakness or desperation. They are adapting in a different way," an official said.

(CNN) —  

Recent raids against ISIS targets have given the U.S. intelligence community a better understanding of how the terror group is structured and organized and about its plans for attacks outside areas it controls in Syria and Iraq, according to a senior administration official.

They also have made it clear that for some time ISIS was planning to focus on those attacks around the world, although there were no clear indications of when and where that would have provided actionable intelligence to prevent them, the senior official said.

“We were aware they were moving this way,” the official said. “It’s not like we didn’t see it coming.”

The official declined to say where the intelligence came from, but a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Syria recently revealed the Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) – Arab fighters in northern Syria that the U.S. supports – had collected a significant amount of ISIS intel in raids in northern Syria.

“The SAC forces have … seized more than 10,000 documents from the outlying edges, including textbooks, propaganda posters, cell phones, laptops, maps and digital storage devices. Exploitation of this information is ongoing to better understand Daesh (ISIS) networks and techniques, including the systems to manage the flow of foreign fighters into Syria and Iraq,” the spokesman, Col. Christopher Garver, told reporters.

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The senior official said ISIS is expected to continue going after so-called soft targets such as airports and shopping areas.

“It’s not a sign of weakness or desperation. They are adapting in a different way,” the official said.

In May, a recording released online, purportedly from ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, urged followers to carry out attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ended a week ago. The roughly half-hour message in Arabic acknowledged losses against the anti-ISIS coalition but asserted the jihadist group would prevail in the long run.

Since the recording, there have been ISIS-inspired or ISIS-linked attacks in several cities, including Orlando, Florida; Istanbul, Turkey; Dakkah, Bangladesh, and a massive attack in Baghdad that killed nearly 300.

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“The size and scope of the attacks are troubling,” the official said.

The question is whether they are simply a reaction to Adnani’s Ramadan call to violence or a deeper shift to global terrorism by ISIS that had been well planned for years, several officials told CNN.

There is agreement the latest round of attacks have given ISIS a renewed opportunity to try to show relevance to potential recruits, even as it loses territory and sees hundreds of its fighters killed in recent airstrikes.

That may have led in part to recent high-profile attacks, but the intelligence community has been tracking the trend for over a year, watching as potential networks of external operatives have taken hold in Brussels and Paris.

Officials said they have had intelligence that shows a network is being assembled and moved into place at various times in past months, but they have not been able to pin down locations or participants. That intel led to the general warnings about possible terror threats in Europe since last summer.

There also are is apparent difference in how the Pentagon and the CIA see the campaign against ISIS progressing.

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From a military point of view, the Pentagon touts success. From an intelligence perspective, the results are less clear.

ISIS has lost the city of Fallujah, from which it controlled much of western Iraq and launched attacks into Baghdad. Iraqi security forces are making progress in clearing key terrain on the way to Mosul. Manbij, the final way station between ISIS’s so-called Syrian capital and the Turkish border, is surrounded by a tightening cordon of Arab troops.

At the same time, ISIS affiliates in places such as Libya, Afghanistan and East Africa are under intensifying pressure.

“This is notable and important progress from a year ago or six months ago,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook, who did acknowledge “much work left still to do” after the latest round of terror attacks.

But in recent congressional testimony, CIA Director John Brennan pointed to the intelligence assessment about the continuing threat despite the U.S. military action.

“Despite all of our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach,” he testified.

The resources needed to carry out acts of terror are modest, and ISIS would have to suffer even heavier losses on territory, manpower and money for its capacity to undertake such attacks to decline significantly. Moreover, the group’s foreign branches and global networks can help preserve its ability to strike, regardless of events in Iraq and Syria.