Police officer sentenced under terror offences after sharing pro-Hamas WhatsApp posts

4 June 2024, 20:10 | Updated: 4 June 2024, 20:15

West Yorkshire Police officer Mohammed Adil, 26, leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court, May 2, 2024.
West Yorkshire Police officer Mohammed Adil, 26, leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court, May 2, 2024. Picture: Alamy

By Charlotte Frawley

A police officer who shared images of Hamas fighters days after the October 7 attacks has been sentenced under terror offences.

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Mohammed Adil, a 26-year-old from Bradford, shared images via his WhatsApp stories just weeks after the October 7 onslaught which killed around 1,200 people.

Appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last month, Adil, pleaded guilty to two charges of publishing images which gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that he was supporting a proscribed organisation.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000 (UK), Hamas is a proscribed organisation, making it a criminal offence to express support, including through the publication of imagery.

Adil was subsequently sentenced today to an 18-month community order and 160 hours of unpaid work, for two terrorism offences.

West Yorkshire Police officer Mohammed Adil, 26, leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court, May 2, 2024.
West Yorkshire Police officer Mohammed Adil, 26, leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court, May 2, 2024. Picture: Alamy

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Adil shared an image on October 31, 2023, featuring writing saying: “Today is the time for the Palestinian people to rise, set their paths straight and establish an independent Palestinian state.”

This is understood to be a quote from the leader of al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing.

He then posted on November 4, 2023, including text reading: “We will hold accountable all those who occupied our lands and Allah will hold accountable all those who remained silent against this occupation and oppression.”

The second quote is said to be from Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades.

Adil was a serving police officer with West Yorkshire Police when the offences were committed.

He was originally reported by two colleagues in the force, before the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigated the offence and referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a decision on charges.

Bethan David, Head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) Counter Terrorism Division, said: “Mohammed Adil understood that in sharing the images he did, it would arouse suspicion that he was showing support for a terrorist organisation.”

“The CPS will not hesitate to work with the IOPC and police to prosecute these offences, regardless of the perpetrator's position”, said David.

West Yorkshire Police officer Mohammed Adil arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on June 4, 2024, to be sentenced
West Yorkshire Police officer Mohammed Adil arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on June 4, 2024, to be sentenced. Picture: Getty

Detective Superintendent Tanya Wilkins of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate said: “PC Adil has been suspended from duty since the day of his arrest.”

“It is unfortunate that the actions of one officer have the potential to cause significant damage to public trust.”

“I hope that the swift action taken in this case helps reassure the public how seriously this has been treated by police and others in the criminal justice system”, said Wilkins.

Natalie Turner, mitigating, said prior internet searches conducted by Adil reflected his “personal interest” in the conflict and not support for Hamas, though he accepted this was the impression given by the images.

“He doesn’t seek to deny that in any way, but it was more in trying to understand the ongoing news reports that he was reading”, said Turner.

When handing down the sentence, Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring said there was “no need for this court to impose a custodial sentence, suspended or otherwise” describing this as “unnecessarily disproportionate”.

The 18-month community order includes 160 hours of unpaid work and up to 35 days of required rehabilitation activity.

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