A 34-year-old man has been sentenced to a 16 week prison sentence (suspended for two years) and banned from NW11 in north London for wearing a T-shirt with logos of proscribed Palestinian groups.
Feras Al Jayoosi of Swindon was seen on June 8/9 in Golders Green in north London wearing T-shirts bearing the logos of Palestinian Islamic Jihad group and Hamas Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian organisation Hamas. Both groups are proscribed as terrorist organisations in the UK.
The police arrested Jayoosi on June 11 after he was reported by the local community and an investigation was launched soon after.
Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Metropolitan police’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Al Jayoosi’s actions caused a great deal of concern within local communities, and an investigation was quickly launched as a result of a call to police. This case further underlines how important information from communities is to our work, and how seriously we take reports of this nature…
“I would urge anyone with concerns or suspicions about crime, or indeed any potential terrorist activity in their neighbourhood to call the police – we will listen, and we will act.”
Al Jayoosi pleaded guilty to four terrorism charges and was also sentenced to undertake 60 days rehabilitation and carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
The court also barred him from entering the NW11 postcode area for two years, meaning he will be committing an offence if he enters the area during the period. He was also ordered to pay £288 to the Court.
Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!
Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring said: “You had multiple warnings that the path you were taking – the organisations you sought out to align yourself with – would get you into trouble, but you carried on. The harm you caused is high; you targeted the Jewish community, particularly in Golders Green…
“This prosecution is not about supporting the cause of the Palestinian people. You and very many others – rightly – feel very strongly about that. It’s about supporting organisations that believe the way to solve the problem is in ways that are violent and that we should all abhor.
“Do not be under any misunderstanding that your support for the Palestinian cause is somehow not thought to be worthy and lauded; it is. There were many ways you could have expressed your support for the cause without finding yourself in court.”
The court heard in mitigation that Jayoosi has autism and Aspergers.
According to the Terrorism Act 2000, it is illegal and a punishable offence to wear any clothing in public that would suggest someone’s affiliation or support of a terrorist organisation.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades were banned in the country in 2005 and 2001 respectively.
Last month the UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, announced that the British government will ban the Palestinian Islamic political group Hamas “in its entirety” as a terrorist organisation.
In Palestine and across the Muslim world all these groups are considered to be legitimate resistance organisations fighting Israeli apartheid.