Man suggested Trafford Centre as terror target
ISIS SUPPORTER ALSO CALLED FOR ATTACKS ON PRINCE GEORGE AND AT RUSSIA WORLD CUP
THE Trafford Centre was among possible targets suggested by an Islamic State fanatic who also called for an attack on Prince George and the World Cup in Russia.
Husnain Rashid used an encrypted messaging app to call for the four-yearold prince to be targeted by the terror group. He also suggested the vast shopping centre in a list of potential strikes.
He has now been jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 25 years.
Before Rashid pleaded guilty, the court heard that he sent around 300,000 messages and posts on the highly encrypted communication app, Telegram during an 18-month period.
The messages and posts included threats against footballers and fans attending the World Cup in Russia, instructions on how to poison fruit in supermarkets with cyanide and encouraged attacks on high-profile public figures, including Prince George.
Although not all the material shared and posted by Rashid has been recovered, due to the complex encryption he used, Counter Terrorism Policing North West officers found a draft digital magazine that Rashid had been working on which included a list of destination hotspots for terror attacks, including the Vatican City, a train station in Australia and the Trafford Centre.
A magazine he was producing also suggested a strike on the World Cup with vehicles, weapons, or bombs.
In one post Rashid suggested an attack at the New York City Halloween parade last year. The event was attacked but officers found no evidence to suggest it was linked to Rashid’s post.
On November 22, last year, when officers raided his home, Rashid ran out of the back door of the house to escape police and threw his mobile phone high into the air to avoid being found with it in his possession.
It landed over a wall, right at the feet of an officer who had surrounded the house and contained “a treasure trove” of evidence the court was told.
Mobile phones owned by Rashid were found to have text messages on them between him and the ISIS news agency, Amaq.
Chf Supt Will Chatterton from Counter Terrorism Policing North West said: “Rashid had spent the past 18 months locked away in a bedroom of his parents’ house where he had made links with known ISIS members and spent hours making online posters and propaganda encouraging would-be terrorists to carry out the most gruesome attacks.”
Rashid, of Leonard Street, Nelson, in Lancashire, had denied a string of terror charges throughout his trial at Woolwich Crown Court in May until he dramatically changed his plea.
Rashid, 32, then pleaded guilty to three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and one count of encouraging terrorism.
Two further charges of dissemination of a terrorist publication will be allowed to lie on file as it is not in the public interest to proceed to trial.