Islamic State supporter Husnain Rashid who called for an attack on Prince George has been jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years at Woolwich Crown Court for a string of terrorism offences.
Sentencing him Judge Andrew Lees said: “The message was clear – you were providing the name and address of Prince George’s school, an image of Prince George’s school and the instruction or threat that Prince George and other members of the Royal family should be viewed as potential targets.”
Rashid admitted three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, and was given a life sentence for each, with a minimum term of 25 years.
He also admitted one count of encouraging terrorism and was sentenced to four and half years imprisonment, to run concurrently.
Rashid’s barrister Naseem Mian QC told the court his client was more like the ‘Wizard of Oz’ – who is revealed as a fraud when the curtain is pulled away, reports the Mirror.
Rashid’s defence team and an expert from the Home Office prepared a report for the sentencing which stated he could be successfully re-educated and de-radicalised.
Mr Mian QC told the court: “In my respectful submission Mr Rashid is not a committed idol, not a committed extremist.
“What he actually is, is a Wizard of Oz type character.
“The image of Oz when Toto drags the curtain to one side and there he is, something that can only be described as a pathetic individual – that’s him, that’s what he is.
“He is 32-years-old, living at home, living with his parents, life going nowhere and all of a sudden this gives him some sort of meaning.
“What underpins all that is this social exclusion. What underpins all of that is a wholly misguided approach to Islam.
“All of that is actually in many respects a perfectly legitimate concern shared by many people of all ilks, of all creeds, about what’s going on in the Syrian conflict.
“What one is inviting your honour to do in effect is to look at the man behind the curtain.
“And when your honour does that what is revealed is someone who actually isn’t dangerous.
“He’s very remorseful, he’s very sorry he went down this path.”
The 32-year-old was convicted of three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and a count of encouraging terrorism after changing his pleas in in May mid-trial.
He had initially denied the charges during his trial at Woolwich Crown Court.
He was then due to be sentence this morning, but a judge adjourned it until this afternoon to consider whether Rashid should be jailed for life because of the danger he poses.
During the trial, jurors heard Rashid warned “even the royal family will not be left alone” and ran an Internet channel – called Lone Mujahid – that provided how-to-guides for ‘lone wolf’ terror attacks.
During his trial it was heard he had circulated a sick composite photo of Prince George online – along with the address of the four-year-old royal’s school.
The image shows a black silhouette of sinister jihadists – one of them masked – in front of the building’s entrance, along with a photo of the young royal.
He taught at the Mohamadi Mosque in Nelson, Lancashire, but begged a notorious British jihadi Omar Ali Hussein, known as Rapunzel, to help him become an Islamic State fighter.
Jurors heard he sent 290,000 messages on encrypted chat groups before he was arrested at his home in Nelson last November.
Prosecutor Annabel Darlow said today: “With regards to count one, which relates to the defendant’s plans to Travel to Syria and fight on behalf of ISIS.
“He was messaging individuals within Islamic State territory.
“Several mentions of purchases of equipment to undertake travel.
“It must follow from that his plans were well advanced and but for the intervention of the authorities, would have been executed.
“In relation to count two he ensured assistance he provided was passed on to IS figures on the ground in Syria, making sure his own assistance reached the right department.
“Information provided such as using lasers to shoot down aircraft was one that reached the intended recipients and could be used in practical terms – in combat on the battlefield.
“The defendant encouraged others to undertake lone wolf style attacks both in the UK and overseas.
“Multiple deaths were at risk and very likely to be caused.
“The sheer scale of the defendant’s conduct was very likely to be responsible for multiple deaths arising out of lone wolf style attacks of those he encouraged, both in the West and in Syria, or for example his own conduct in Syria.
“A persistent theme of the defendant’s behaviour was the encouragement of others which could be mustered very quickly at a very short notice with minimal planning and using resources available to almost anyone.
“Within a very short time anyone reading his posts would have been encouraged and assisted to carry out an attack with multiple casualties.”
Source : BirminghamMail