Police officer pleads guilty to two terror offences over pro-Hamas WhatsApp messages

A West Yorkshire police officer has pleaded guilty to two terror offences over messages he shared on WhatsApp.

PC Mohammed Adil, who is based in Calderdale and is on suspension, admitted two counts of publishing an image in support of banned organisation Hamas at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

The 26-year-old shared the messages on his WhatsApp stories in October and November last year - weeks after the Hamas attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people and saw another 250 being taken hostage.

They showed a Hamas fighter wearing a Hamas headband, prosecutor Bridget Fitzpatrick told the court.

The image posted on 31 October had writing on it saying: "Today is the time for the Palestinian people to rise, set their paths straight and establish an independent Palestinian state."

It was said to be a quote from the leader of Hamas's military wing, Mohammed Deif.

The image posted on 4 November had another message on it, saying: "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 was said to be from Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the Al Qassam brigade - Hamas's military wing.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, is a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK.

Two of Adil's colleagues reported to their superior officers that they had viewed images posted by Adil on his WhatsApp stories which caused them "concern", the prosecution said.

Adil, from Bradford, was arrested on 6 November and his mobile seized.

He had 1,092 contacts on his WhatsApp at the time who would have been able to access the images for 24 hours, Ms Fitzpatrick said.

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Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring said the matters were "very serious" and added at this stage he was not persuaded he could "rule out custody".

Adil was given conditional bail and the case adjourned for sentencing on 4 June.