Lancashire man accused of posting Prince George school details online denies terror charges

Husnain Rashid
Husnain Rashid
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An alleged Islamic State (IS) supporter accused of sharing details online of Prince George's school has denied a series of terror offences.

Husnain Rashid, 32, of Nelson, Lancashire, who appeared at London's Woolwich Crown Court, is accused of encouraging terrorism with "a photograph of Prince George, along with the address of his school, and a black silhouette of a jihad fighter and a message 'even the royal family will not be left alone'".

The charge alleges he "published statements which intended members of the public to be directly or indirectly encouraged to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism".

Rashid pleaded not guilty to three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, a count of encouraging terrorism and two counts of dissemination of a terrorist publication.

He also pleaded not guilty to failing to comply with a notice under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place between October 2016 and November 2017.

Rashid is said to have had a map of Sixth Avenue in New York and a message stating "New York Halloween Parade. Have you made you preparations? The Countdown begins", according to the charges.

Among the other allegations is that he posted a photograph of the Burmese ambassador to the United Kingdom with the address of the Burmese embassy, saying "you know what to do".

There was also a post urging people to "fight and spill the blood to the apes in your land", with a message stating "start planning, start scouting targets, start monitoring enyr/exit routes, start preparing tools and weapons/explosives", it is claimed.

Rashid also allegedly messaged people he believed to be in IS territory, sought advice on routes to travel to Syria and Turkey, bought equipment and looked for a recommendation to join IS.

He is also charged with using an instant messaging service to send links to another user of videos, documents and materials which set out how to shoot down an aircraft with a laser, manufacture explosives in a confined space and jam anti-tank ground missiles.

It is also claimed he created a network of instant messaging channels aimed at "Lone Mujahud and aspiring Lone Mujahid", along with uploading resources to his channels that might help others' attack planning.

Rashid is also accused of analysing the fatal Besiktas football stadium bombing in Turkey in 2016 to try to find ways the attack could have been carried out more successfully and at similar venues in the UK.

He is also accused of transmitting terrorist publications electronically.

A provisional trial date has been set for May 14.