In a dramatic U-turn during his trial in May, Husnain Rashid, 32, pleaded guilty to carrying out a string of terrorism offenses, including engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts and encouraging terrorism. He had previously maintained his innocence since his arrest in November 2017.
Rashid, whose home is in Lancashire, northwest England, wrote messages online encouraging militants to carry out attacks, including posting a picture of Prince George — son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and third in line to the throne — next to a superimposed silhouette of a jihadi fighter, the CPS said.
He also gave the full address of the young prince’s school in southwest London, which the boy began attending last September, and wrote that “even the royal family will not be left alone.”
Between October 2016 and November 2017, Rashid also encouraged attacks on a number of other targets including soccer stadiums, British Army bases, shopping centers and Jewish communities, and suggested injecting poison into supermarket ice creams, Britain’s Press Association reported.
Rashid had also made plans to travel to Turkey and Syria, intending to fight in territories controlled by ISIS, the CPS said, adding that he had sought advice on how to reach Syria and obtain the authorization he would need to join a fighting group.
Following Rashid’s revised plea, Judge Andrew Lees said the trial had heard the “most disturbing allegations” and told Rashid a very lengthy prison sentence was “inevitable” and a life sentence would be considered, according to the UK’s Press Association.