British police officer pleads guilty to terror charges for showing support for Hamas on WhatsApp

West Yorkshire Police officer Mohammed Adil, 26, leaves Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London, Thursday May 2, 2024, after he admitted two counts of publishing an image in support of Hamas, which is banned and designated a terror group in the U.K., the Independent Office for Police Conduct said. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — A British police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to terror charges for showing support on social media for Hamas, which is designated a terror group and banned in the U.K.

West Yorkshire constable Mohammed Adil admitted sharing two images on WhatsApp supporting the group three weeks after Hamas and other Palestinian militants stormed into Israel on Oct. 7 and killed about 1,200 people and seized some 250 hostages.

Adil, 26, pleaded guilty in Westminster Magistrates’ Court to two counts of publishing an image in support of a proscribed organization in violation of the Terrorism Act.

In messages shared on WhatsApp stories with nearly 1,100 contacts, Adil posted images of a fighter wearing a Hamas headband, prosecutor Bridget Fitzpatrick said.

“Today is the time for the Palestinian people to rise, set their paths straight and establish an independent Palestinian state,” an Oct. 31 post said, apparently quoting the leader of Hamas’ military wing.

A second post on Nov. 4 was said to quote a Hamas military spokesperson.

Two other police officers who were concerned by the images reported Adil to superiors, Fitzpatrick said. He was arrested in November and has been suspended from the force.

“I accept that at the time of the offending you were of good character,” Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring told Adil, though he said he may impose a prison term when he is sentenced June 4.

Adil was released on bail.