Husnain Rashid, the British Islamic State supporter who had previously confessed to organizing an assassination plot against Prince George, was sentenced on Friday, and will likely be spending the rest of his life in prison.
As recalled by CNN, the 32-year-old Rashid pleaded guilty to a number of charges in May, surprisingly changing his original plea and admitting that he had performed actions in preparation for terrorist acts and encouraged terrorism. Lancashire resident Rashid, who was arrested in November 2017, had previously pleaded innocent and insisted that he had nothing to do with the crimes.
According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the British ISIS supporter had taken to the internet to encourage people to attack the royal family and had specifically focused on Prince George, the 4-year-old son of Prince William and Kate Middleton who is third in line to the throne. One initiative reportedly saw Rashid take a photo of the young prince at his southwest London school and superimpose it next to a pair of silhouettes of masked jihad fighters. SBS News also noted that Rashid frequently posted messages that suggested that the royal family “will not be left alone,” as well as one that targeted George by warning him that “school starts early.”
“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,” said sentencing judge Andrew Lees, who was quoted by SBS News.
“You provided what you regarded as inspiration for suitable targets for lone wolf terror attacks.”
All in all, Husnain Rashid was given a life sentence for each of his three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts. He was also found guilty of encouraging terrorism.
According to CNN, Rashid’s threats against Prince George and the British royal family were among the many acts he had reportedly carried out between October 2016 and November 2017. During that timeframe, he mobilized social media to attack British Army bases, shopping centers, soccer stadiums, and Jewish communities, and also allegedly suggested that British groceries inject poison into the ice cream they sell. The CPS also noted that Rashid planned to show ISIS his support by traveling to Turkey and Syria and by fighting in locations controlled by the group. To that end, he was accused of asking advice on how to reach Syria and how to join one of the country’s fighting groups.