Security forces run from the site of a suicide attack after the second bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 30, 2018. A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul on Monday morning, (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Massoud Hossaini/AP
Security forces run from the site of a suicide attack after the second bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 30, 2018. A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul on Monday morning, (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Now playing
00:56
Journalists among dozens killed in Kabul bomb attacks
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
Now playing
02:00
Man convicted after threat to Prince George
the fall of ISIS_00013506.jpg
the fall of ISIS_00013506.jpg
Now playing
01:54
Fears of a new frontier in terror
CNN
Now playing
04:32
Mosul survivors search for loved ones
inside a former isis jail in raqqa paton walsh_00001610.jpg
inside a former isis jail in raqqa paton walsh_00001610.jpg
Now playing
02:52
Inside former ISIS jails in Raqqa
where is isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi pkg paton walsh_00015316.jpg
ISIS
where is isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi pkg paton walsh_00015316.jpg
Now playing
02:06
Hunting for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
raqqa stadium damon lklv_00002813.jpg
raqqa stadium damon lklv_00002813.jpg
Now playing
01:46
ISIS used stadium as prison
Raqqa,Syria
CNN
Raqqa,Syria
Now playing
02:31
Walking through the ruins of Raqqa
kidnapped yazidi child raised by american isis fighter damon pkg_00003130.jpg
kidnapped yazidi child raised by american isis fighter damon pkg_00003130.jpg
Now playing
03:06
Kidnapped Yazidi boy raised by American ISIS mother
Gabriel Chaim
Now playing
01:48
Exclusive GoPro footage inside Raqqa conflict
CNN
Now playing
02:40
CNN inside Raqqa, former ISIS stronghold
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)
AP
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)
Now playing
01:25
Why Raqqa matters
Now playing
01:13
How ISIS is evolving
gabriel chaim
Now playing
01:42
Raqqa drone video shows ISIS execution square
(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
Now playing
02:38
ISIS leader seemingly breaks silence
(CNN) —  

Ten journalists were among 31 people killed in a series of attacks in Afghanistan on Monday, including a BBC reporter and a well-known photographer who had written of the dangers of reporting in the Afghan capital.

Nine journalists were killed in suicide bombings in the capital, Kabul. Shah Marai of Agence France Presse was among a group of journalists who died when a bomber disguised as a TV cameraman detonated a second bomb at the site of an earlier explosion. Both attacks were claimed by Islamic State.

In a separate incident, Ahmad Shah, a 29-year-old reporter with the BBC’s Afghan service, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Khost province, the BBC said. Najib Sharifi, director of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, said Shah was on his way home when the attack took place.

BBC Afghan reporter Ahmad Shah, killed in Afghanistan on Monday, April 30.
Courtesy BBC
BBC Afghan reporter Ahmad Shah, killed in Afghanistan on Monday, April 30.

The other fatalities were Mahram Durani, a correspondent with Radio Free Europe and Ebadullah Hananzai, a reporter with the same outlet, Yar Mohammad Tokhi, a cameraman with TOLONews, Ghazi Rasoul, a reporter with 1TV and cameraman Nawroz Ali Khamosh, Ali Saleemi and Saleem Talash from Mashal TV. Sabawoon Kakar, an RFE cameraman, died in the hospital from his injuries.

The first blast happened at around at 8 a.m. local time in the Shashdarak area of the city, where the US embassy and Afghan government buildings are located, prompting journalists to rush to the scene.

A man cries after his son was killed in an ISIS attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 30.
Rahmat Gul/AP
A man cries after his son was killed in an ISIS attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, April 30.

The second explosion came as the attacker detonated explosives as journalists huddled around the scene, Kabul City Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told CNN.

In a statement issued via the social-media app Telegram, ISIS said a “martyrdom brother” blew his explosive vest up among a group of “apostates” and killed and wounded a number of them. The group named the first bomber as Qaqaa al-Kurdi and the second attacker as Khalil al-Qurshi. ISIS did not provide any evidence for the claim.

Eight journalists, including at least one woman, died in the blasts, according to Sharifi.

In a tweet Monday, AFP’s Global News Director Michele Leridon honored Marai for his “extraordinary strength, courage and generosity” and praised his “consummate professionalism” and “sensitivity” during his 15 years covering the Afghan conflict for the news agency.

AFP said the death of its “treasured colleague” was “a devastating blow”.

Leridon sent “condolences to the families of other journalists killed in this terrible attack”.

A further 45 people were injured in the two incidents, and have been taken to city hospitals, according to Ministry of Public Health spokesman Wahid Majroh.

The agency said Marai joined AFP as a driver in 1996, the year the Taliban seized power, and in 2002 he became a full-time photo stringer, rising through the ranks to become chief photographer in the bureau.

AFP’s Leridon said in a statement, “This is a devastating blow, for the brave staff of our close-knit Kabul bureau and the entire agency. Shah Marai was a treasured colleague who spent more than 15 years documenting the tragic conflict in Afghanistan for AFP.”

He leaves behind two wives and six children, including a newborn daughter, AFP said.

In an essay entitled “When Hope is Gone,” written in 2016 – before the birth of his sixth child – he acknowledged the danger of living in the city with his young family.

“I don’t dare to take my children for a walk. I have five and they spend their time cooped up inside the house.

“Every morning as I go to the office and every evening when I return home, all I think of are cars that can be booby-trapped, or of suicide bombers coming out of a crowd. I can’t take the risk.”

An official briefs journalists at the scene of the blasts in Kabul on Monday.
JAWAD JALALI/EPA-EFE
An official briefs journalists at the scene of the blasts in Kabul on Monday.

The site of the explosions was close to NATO’s Afghan headquarters, the US embassy and Afghan government buildings, including the Presidential palace, the Defense Ministry and the headquarters of Afghanistan’s intelligence services.

US Ambassador John Bass responded to the attack by restating the US resolve to combat terrorists in Afghanistan.

“I condemn today’s terrible Kabul attack (and) reaffirm our commitment (to) stand with the Afghan people in their fight for peace (and) security across Afghanistan. We mourn for those murdered, including the brave journalists who stand for truth in the face of violence,” he wrote on Twitter.

Spate of attacks

A few hours after the strikes in Kabul, an attack in Kandahar Province killed 11 students at a local religious school. The suicide bomber had targeted a convoy of Romanian soldiers. Five of them were injured in the blast.

No group has yet claimed responsibility.

Afghanistan has witnessed a spate of attacks in recent weeks. Days ago at least six people were killed, including two Afghan soldiers, when a car bomb exploded in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province.

On April 22, a suicide blast killed 57 people – including at least five children – and wounded over 100 more at a voter registration center. That attack was preceded by a car bombing in southern Afghanistan in which at least 13 people were killed and 35 others injured.

A relative of a victim cries outside a voter registration center which was attacked by a suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April 22.
Rahmat Gul/AP
A relative of a victim cries outside a voter registration center which was attacked by a suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April 22.

The incident took place outside a sports stadium in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. A wrestling match was taking place inside the stadium at the time of the attack.

The uptick in violence comes despite reports around six weeks ago that suggested some factions of the Taliban had expressed interested in pursuing peace talks with the Afghan government.

Those reports came on the heels of an Afghan government announcement in February that it would be willing to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political party as part of a potential ceasefire agreement with the Islamist militant group.