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A man from Lancashire who encouraged Islamic extremists to wage jihad in the West, including targeting Prince George and injecting poison in to supermarket ice-cream, has been convicted today (31 May).
Husnain Rashid, 32, posted messages online glorifying successful terrorist atrocities committed by others while encouraging and inciting his readers to plan and commit attacks.
One of his posts included a photograph of Prince George, along with the address of his school, a black silhouette of a jihad fighter and the message ìeven the royal family will not be left aloneî.
His common theme was that attacks could be carried out by one individual acting alone. Rashid suggested perpetrators had the option of using poisons, vehicles, weapons, bombs, chemicals or knives. Rashid uploaded terrorist material to an online library he created with the goal of helping others plan an attack.
He also planned to travel to Turkey and Syria with the intention of fighting in Daesh-controlled territories. He contacted individuals he believed to be in Daesh territory, seeking advice on how to reach Syria and how to obtain the required authorisation necessary to join a fighting group.
Rashid provided one individual who had travelled to Syria and was known online as ìRepunzelî, with information about methods of shooting down aircraft and jamming missile systems.
All the offences relate to Rashidís activities online between October 2016 and his arrest in November 2017.
Rashidís trial started on 23 May at Woolwich Crown Court but he changed his plea to guilty on four counts on 31 May. He will be sentenced on 28 June.
Sue Hemming from the CPS said: ìHusnain Rashid is an extremist who not only sought to encourage others to commit attacks on targets in the West but was planning to travel aboard so he could fight himself.
ìHe tried to argue that he had not done anything illegal but with the overwhelming weight of evidence against him he changed his plea to guilty.
ìThe judge will now deci
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A man from Lancashire who encouraged Islamic extremists to wage jihad in the West, including targeting Prince George and injecting poison in to supermarket ice-cream, has been convicted today (31 May). Husnain Rashid, 32, posted messages online glorifying successful terrorist atrocities committed by others while encouraging and inciting his readers to plan and commit attacks. One of his posts included a photograph of Prince George, along with the address of his school, a black silhouette of a jihad fighter and the message ìeven the royal family will not be left aloneî. His common theme was that attacks could be carried out by one individual acting alone. Rashid suggested perpetrators had the option of using poisons, vehicles, weapons, bombs, chemicals or knives. Rashid uploaded terrorist material to an online library he created with the goal of helping others plan an attack. He also planned to travel to Turkey and Syria with the intention of fighting in Daesh-controlled territories. He contacted individuals he believed to be in Daesh territory, seeking advice on how to reach Syria and how to obtain the required authorisation necessary to join a fighting group. Rashid provided one individual who had travelled to Syria and was known online as ìRepunzelî, with information about methods of shooting down aircraft and jamming missile systems. All the offences relate to Rashidís activities online between October 2016 and his arrest in November 2017. Rashidís trial started on 23 May at Woolwich Crown Court but he changed his plea to guilty on four counts on 31 May. He will be sentenced on 28 June. Sue Hemming from the CPS said: ìHusnain Rashid is an extremist who not only sought to encourage others to commit attacks on targets in the West but was planning to travel aboard so he could fight himself. ìHe tried to argue that he had not done anything illegal but with the overwhelming weight of evidence against him he changed his plea to guilty. ìThe judge will now deci
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FILE - In this undated file photo released by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, militants of the Islamic State group hold up their weapons and wave flags on their vehicles in a convoy on a road leading to Iraq, while riding in Raqqa, Syria. Simultaneous attacks on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa, the de facto IS capital across the border in eastern Syria, would make military sense: They would make it harder for the extremists to move reinforcements and deny them a safe haven. (Militant website via AP, File)
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FILE - In this undated file photo released by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, militants of the Islamic State group hold up their weapons and wave flags on their vehicles in a convoy on a road leading to Iraq, while riding in Raqqa, Syria. Simultaneous attacks on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa, the de facto IS capital across the border in eastern Syria, would make military sense: They would make it harder for the extremists to move reinforcements and deny them a safe haven. (Militant website via AP, File)
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(FILES) This image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. 
The Russian army on June 16, 2017 said it hit Islamic State leaders in an airstrike in Syria last month and was seeking to verify whether IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed. In a statement, the army said Sukhoi warplanes carried out a 10-minute night-time strike on May 28 at a location near Raqa, where IS leaders had gathered to plan a pullout by militants from the group's stronghold.
 / AFP PHOTO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA / --/AFP/Getty Images
(FILES) This image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The Russian army on June 16, 2017 said it hit Islamic State leaders in an airstrike in Syria last month and was seeking to verify whether IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed. In a statement, the army said Sukhoi warplanes carried out a 10-minute night-time strike on May 28 at a location near Raqa, where IS leaders had gathered to plan a pullout by militants from the group's stronghold. / AFP PHOTO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA / --/AFP/Getty Images
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Story highlights

U.N. official says the terror group is using mentally-challenged children

She urges Iraq to protect children nationwide

(CNN) —  

ISIS has stepped up the use of children in its bloody campaign of terror, the United Nations says – subjecting them to horrors that include putting price tags on them to sell as slaves.

A report released this week focused on children in Iraq, as well as the responsibility of that nation’s government for ensuring the safety and security of young civilians in the conflict. But it certainly doesn’t preclude similar things happening in Syria, where ISIS is also entrenched and also has been blamed for various atrocities.

In reference to Iraq, at least, the U.N. report found that the terrorist group is resorting more and more to brutal acts such as enslaving, raping, beheading, crucifying and burying people alive. Some of those affected are children.

“We have had reports of children, especially children that are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding what has happened or what they have to expect,” said Renate Winter, an expert with the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Some as young as age 8 are getting training to become soldiers, she said.

“Children of minorities have been captured in places where the so-called ISIL has its strength, have been sold in market with tags, price tags on them, have been sold as slaves,” Winter said.

People of the Yazidi faith – which draws from Christianity, Judaism and the ancient monotheistic religion of Zoroastrianism, and which some Muslims consider devil worship – have long faced persecution, though by comparison ISIS’ cruelty to them has been extraordinary. Kurdistan Regional Government adviser Nazand Begikhani, for instance, has said Yazidi “women have been treated like cattle, … subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery.”

Yazidi children haven’t fared much better at the hands of ISIS. An earlier U.N. report described how militants rounded up all Yazidi males “older than 10 years of age at the local school, took them outside the village by pickup trucks, and shot them.”

ISIS: ‘It is permissible to buy, sell or … gift’ captives

The U.N. report, while alarming, isn’t surprising considering all the accounts of ISIS’ brutality in recent years.

The self-proclaimed Islamic State has made a name for itself – in its quest to form a vast caliphate governed under a strict version of Sharia law – both through its conquests and its savagery.

The savagery was on display again this week with the release of video showing Jordanian pilot Lt. Moath al-Kasasbeh being burned to death, the latest example of ISIS not just executing its captives but broadcasting such violence as propaganda.

While there was no response specifically to the U.N. report, ISIS has in the past attempted to justify atrocities – including the enslaving, raping and selling of captives – as being done in God’s name.

The terror group printed a pamphlet last fall, then distributed it in Mosul in December, entitled “Questions and Answers on Female Slaves and their Freedom.” It spells out rationales for having sex with prepubescent girls and generally capturing those who are “nonbelievers,” i.e. they don’t subscribe to ISIS’ extreme take on Islam.

ISIS: Enslaving, having sex with ‘unbelieving’ women, girls is OK

As such, the ISIS document claims, “It is permissible to buy, sell or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property.”

ISIS frequently uses children in propaganda

The U.N. report wasn’t just critical of ISIS. It also urged the Iraqi government – which, along with neighboring Syria, is fighting the Islamist extremist group – to do more to protect children, saying the Iraqi forces are contributing to the problem.

A “very large number of children” have been killed and severely injured by airstrikes, shelling and military operations by Iraqi forces, the report said.

Still, it’s ISIS that is beneath all others involved in the fray when it comes to barbarity.

Not only has the group not apologized for its actions, but it’s reveled in them. And it’s used to children to drive home this point.

An ISIS propaganda video released last month – one that CNN could not independently verify – shows a boy with a pistol apparently shooting two men in the back of the head. The boy then stands over one of the bodies, fires two more times, and later raises his pistol high. And last August, a photo posted to Twitter from an ISIS stronghold showed a 7-year-old boy holding a man’s severed head and his father’s words, “That’s my boy.”

ISIS has featured children as fighters before, calling them the “cubs of the caliphate” (the adult jihadis call each other “lions”) and has encouraged foreign fighters to bring their families.

It has taken over schools to indoctrinate children. Human Rights Watch claims ISIS and other extremist groups “have specifically recruited children through free schooling campaigns that include weapons training and have given them dangerous tasks, including suicide bombing missions.”

That children celebrate such violence is horrifying enough, as evidenced by an ISIS video showing a young boy watching al-Kasasbeh’s killing.

Since the propaganda video is carefully orchestrated, CNN has no way of knowing whether the boy was coerced. In it, the child looks up as if in awe and says he would “burn the pilot” himself if he had a chance.

He adds, “All Arab tyrants should also be burned.”

CNN’s Jessica King contributed to this report.