Met Police make arrests related to Israel-Hamas conflict

Three men have been charged with race hate offences linked to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza.

One is suspected of throwing red paint over the gates of the Israeli Embassy and the other two are accused of racially aggravated common assault and racially aggravated public order offences.

John Harvey was charged with criminal damage after red paint was thrown over the gates of the Israeli Embassy at around 9am on 11 November.

Justin Nathaniel Brookes was charged with assault by beating and racially/religiously aggravated common assault. He is accused of shouting Islamophobic language and assaulting a member of hospital staff in Westminster on 9 November 2023.

Dijan Akhtar of no fixed address, was charged with racially aggravated public order offences after he shouted racial abuse at a man in his 60’s in High Road, Ilford.

In a separate operation, a teenager was arrested by counter terrorism detectives in connection with an online post supporting Hamas. This investigation was launched after a social media post was referred into the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), part of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

The post was assessed by specialist officers and deemed to potentially be in breach of terrorism laws. The case was passed to a team of detectives to carry out an investigation.

A 17-year-old was arrested at an address in south London in the early hours of 14 November on suspicion of supporting a proscribed organisation, contrary to section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000, and taken to a central London police station.

Met Police officers are continuing to investigate offences linked to violent disorder and assault following a march and counter protest on Armistice Day.

Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command said: “We continue to see a large number of referrals from the public where they are concerned about potentially extremist and terrorist content being posted online and on social media.

“Every referral is looked at by specialist officers and as we have here, we will look to take positive action and arrest those who we suspect are committing terrorist offences in this way.”

Image by Franz P. Sauerteig from Pixabay


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