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UK police arrest London man for pro-Hamas social-media post

Dozens of pro-terrorism posts have resulted in arrests, with some perpetrators serving nearly three years in prison.

A "nakba" protest hits central London, May 20, 2024. Photo by Brian Minkoff/Shutterstock
A "nakba" protest hits central London, May 20, 2024. Photo by Brian Minkoff/Shutterstock

British counter-terrorism police arrested a man from west London on Wednesday after he was suspected of supporting Hamas due to a post he placed to social media.

The 43-year-old man was reported to the Counter Terrorism Policing unit on June 4 for posts that allegedly showed support for Hamas. After investigating the matter, officers arrested the man at his home.

Britain’s home secretary designated Hamas as a proscribed terrorist organization under the Terrorism Act (2000) in March 2001.

Cmdr. Dominic Murphy, the head of Metro Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, said in a statement: “Ever since the terrible attacks in Israel last October, and the subsequent conflict, there has been a significant increase in the amount of extremist and terrorist material being referred to us by the public.”

Murphy stressed that the police take each referral seriously.

“Each and every referral gets assessed by specialist officers and anything that is considered a potential terrorism offense here in the U.K. will get passed on for further investigation. From that investigation, if and where we find evidence of a crime being committed, then we’ll look to identify, arrest and bring the person responsible to justice.”

The suspect was released on bail and given a court date for September, according to the statement. 

The U.K. extended Hamas’s proscription as a terrorist organization in 2021. Posting support for it online, or for any of the other 81 proscribed terrorist organizations, is a criminal offense. 

Several people have been arrested in the U.K. since Oct. 7 for posting pro-Hamas propaganda on social media. In November, the Independent reported that a 37-year-old west London man was arrested for posting pro-Hamas photos on his social media accounts.

In February 2024, the Lancashire police department issued a statement saying that another 37-year-old, who had pleaded guilty to charges of posting pro-Hamas social media content, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison. 

In March, a man from Leeds pleaded guilty to charges of posting Hamas content online in November 2023, He received a 16-week custodial sentence, a two-year suspension from his job, 35 days of rehabilitation and 100 hours of community service.

Earlier in June, a British police officer named Mohammed Adil, who had made a series of pro-Hamas posts on his social media pages in October and November, was sentenced to an 18-month community service order (he had previously been serving a suspension from duty) and given 160 hours unpaid work. He was not given custodial time or a jail sentence as the judge presiding over the case stated in his ruling “This was very much a one-off and your risk of re-offending and harm to the public is low.”

In May, a man from south London was arrested and released on bail for making pro-Hamas statements online. 

In April, police said that between October and April, the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) has received more than 3,000 public referrals relating to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The majority of these referrals relate to pro-Hamas content.

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