Leeds Man Sentenced for Supporting Hamas | Counter Terrorism Policing

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Leeds Man Sentenced for Supporting Hamas

A 23-year-old man from Leeds has been given a 16-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years, today (Tuesday, April 9) for demonstrating support for the proscribed organisation Hamas. He will also be subject to a rehabilitation requirement for 35 days and 100 hours of community service.

Ozain Ibn Yousef (26/12/2000), of Mexborough Place, admitted publishing pro-Hamas content on his X account in October and November last year. This included posting images of armed soldiers wearing Hamas headbands, in addition to sharing Hamas led videos. 

Ibn Yousef was arrested on November 24, 2024, as part of an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East. On February 27, 2024, he was charged with Publishing a series of images in such a way, or in such circumstances, as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a supporter of a proscribed organisation, namely Hamas, contrary to section 13(1A) and (3) of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, Detective Chief Superintendent James Dunkerley said:

As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, UK policing is working closely with affected communities to offer support and reassurance at a time of heightened emotion, anxiety and fear. 

“Alongside our partners, we will act quickly to disrupt any activity that threatens their safety.  

Image of a phone on the website gov.uk/report-terrorism

Members of the public can report any terrorist content they see online at gov.uk/report-terrorism

“Supporting or glorifying acts of terrorism, and the groups engaged in them, helps to further terrorist objectives by extending their reach and influence. Anyone demonstrating support for proscribed organisations like

 Hamas can expect to be prosecuted. We will deny them any opportunity to increase their profile or promote their violent agenda.” 

Since last October, the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) has received more than 3000 public referrals relating to the conflict. The majority of these referrals relate to pro-Hamas content.

Specialist officers assess each referral to determine whether the content is potentially in breach of terrorism legislation, requires further investigation, or highlights any safeguarding concerns. Any sites deemed to be hosting extremist content are taken down.  

“Removing harmful, violent and extremist content online is critical to our efforts to reduce the spread of terrorist material and propaganda,” continues DCS Dunkerley. 

“As the increase in reports to the CTIRU demonstrate, there is a real willingness from the public to tell us about concerning content. Their continued support is invaluable and I’d appeal to anyone who comes across terrorist or extremist material online to report it to police at www.gov.uk/report-terrorism.”