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Woman from North West London charged with terrorism offences

Officers from the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command have charged a woman from North West London with a terrorism offence as part of an investigation into online support of proscribed terrorist group Hamas.

The Met said that on 17 October 2023, a public referral was made into the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), highlighting posts linked to a social media account that were allegedly showing support towards Hamas.

The posts were assessed by specialist officers in the CTIRU, who believed the posts could be in breach of terrorism legislation and the case was passed for further investigation.

Further enquiries were carried out to identify the user behind the account, which led officers to arresting a then 22-year-old woman from north west London on 2 November 2023.

The woman was released on bail and after making further enquiries, she was charged in March with a terrorism offence.

Commander Dominic Murphy, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This investigation came as a result of members of the public referring social media content into our Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit.

“Any content referred gets carefully assessed and I hope this example shows that we take this extremely seriously and that we will take action if and where we identify potential terrorist or criminal activity.”

Sara El-Houssein, 23, of north west London was charged on Thursday, 21 March with publishing an image of an article in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse a reasonable suspicion that she is a supporter of a proscribed organisation, namely Hamas, contrary to section 13(1A) of the Terrorism Act 2000.

El-Houssein was released on bail and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 19 April.