Man's 'terror attack' suggestions included Prince George at school, court told

An Islamic State (IS) supporter called for would-be lone wolf attackers to target Prince George at school and to inject poison into supermarket ice creams, a court has heard.

Husnain Rashid, of Nelson, Lancashire, provided an "e-toolkit for terrorism" in a "prolific" online Telegram channel he ran named the Lone Mujahid, Woolwich Crown Court was told on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old, who has been employed as a teacher at the Muhammadi mosque, encouraged supporters to target the four-year-old prince at Thomas's Battersea in south-west London, jurors heard.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Husnain Rashid (PA)
Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Husnain Rashid (PA)

Prosecutor Annabel Darlow said: "His proposals were indiscriminate and made no distinction between adult and child, between members of fighting forces and civilians.

"His suggestions included injecting poison into supermarket ice creams and targeting Prince George at his first school."

Rashid is charged with encouraging terrorism by posting a photograph of the prince, along with the address of the prince's school, a silhouette of a jihad fighter and the message: "Even the royal family will not be left alone."

Other targets allegedly included the Halloween Parade in New York and railway stations in Australia.

Rashid specialised in providing lone attackers with information on "every conceivable type of attack", including the use of bombs, chemicals and knives, Ms Darlow said.

He also communicated with a British terrorist in Syria named Omar Ali Hussain, advising him on how to make successful attacks including bringing down aircraft with lasers, the prosecutor added.

She said Rashid published his own magazine targeting lone wolves, distributed al Qaida terror magazine Inspire and wanted to travel to Syria to fight for IS.

Husnain Rashid court case
Husnain Rashid court case

"He made numerous posts glorifying terrorist atrocities committed successfully against others and encouraging and inciting his readers to plan and commit more successful terror attacks of their own," Ms Darlow said.

When police swooped on his house, she said, Rashid "hurled" a phone containing a "treasure trove" of evidence over a wall and into an alleyway.

Investigators found his DNA on the mobile, she added.

The phone allegedly revealed he had been using Telegram, the secretive social media application, to take part in thousands of chats.

Husnain Rashid court case
Husnain Rashid court case

Rashid is also accused of posting a photograph of the Burmese ambassador to the UK and saying "You know what to do", urging others to "fight and spill the blood to the apes in your land" and calling for others to "start preparing tools and weapons/explosives".

Rashid, of Leonard Street, Nelson, has denied three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, one count of encouraging terrorism, two of dissemination of a terrorist publication and one of failing to comply with a notice under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

The allegations span a period between October 2016 and April this year.

The trial, expected to last six weeks, will continue on Thursday.