Man spared prison after wearing T-shirts promoting banned Palestinian groups

A man was spared jail for terrorist offenses after wearing T-shirts promoting Palestinian militant groups banned in public.

Feras Al-Jayoosi received a suspended prison sentence - Metropolitan Police

© Metropolitan Police

Feras Al-Jayoosi received a suspended prison sentence

– Metropolitan police

Feras Al-Jayoosi, 34, wore clothing referring to the military wing of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in May and June, shortly after the start of the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court learned that armed police had been called to Barbury Castle, an Iron Age fort in Wiltshire, after a member of the public called police believing his t-shirt displayed an Isis symbol on May 30.

Al-Jayoosi, of Swindon, told officers the logo did not relate to the terrorist group and was a “symbol of resistance in Palestine,” and was not arrested after saying he would get rid of the T -shirt.

But he kept the article and wore it on a trip to Belfast a few days later, and told relatives he had previously visited the Israeli embassy in London and “had looked into the eyes of gunmen “.

On June 8, Al-Jayoosi visited a hotel in London’s Golders Green area, known to have a large Jewish population.

He was wearing the T-shirts in the area that evening and the next day, and the Metropolitan Police received a report of a “Muslim man wearing a T-shirt with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad logo and carrying a large bag. back ”.

Al-Jayoosi was located at the hotel and arrested. The court heard he told police he was “shocked” and that his intention was not to support terrorism.

He said he designed t-shirts online as a hobby and wanted them to call attention to the “tragedy of what’s going on.”

He pleaded guilty to four counts of carrying an article supporting a terrorist group in Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Chief Justice Paul Goldspring sentenced him to a 16-week suspended sentence of two years, meaning he will not go to jail if he meets the conditions and does not commit any other offenses during this period.

The judge said Al-Jayoosi’s actions raised suspicions that he was a supporter of a terrorist group and was deliberately targeting a Jewish area.

Video: Call to identify men following armed robbery in Highgate (Evening Standard)

Call to identify men following armed robbery in Highgate

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“There are many, many organizations that support the cause of the Palestinian people that have not been proscribed, because they are doing so in a proper and fair manner,” he told the accused.

“The accusation is not aimed at supporting the cause of the Palestinian people, but at groups which act in a violent manner and which we should all hate.”

District Judge Goldspring said Al-Jayoosi ignored “multiple warnings from police, family and friends” to change his behavior and “caused great harm.”

“There are many ways you could have expressed your support for the cause without being in court today,” he told the accused.

The court heard that Al-Jayoosi’s T-shirts indicated support for Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Both groups were banned as terrorist organizations by the British government in 2001 and were implicated in the May Israel-Gaza conflict.

Al-Jayoosi had designed the T-shirts himself earlier this year and printed them through an online service, while doing hundreds of searches online regarding Israel and Jews.

Relatives and friends had told Al-Jayoosi to stop designing and wearing the t-shirts, with one sending him the list of terrorist groups banned by the government and writing: “Have you read this? that I just sent you or are you stupid, why are you so wanna be locked up?

A defense attorney said Al-Jayoosi had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and was interested in “current events and social injustices”, previously making a t-shirt showing a starving child in Yemen.

The court heard that he lost his job after his arrest and that he may have difficulty finding a job in the future due to his conviction for terrorist offenses.

District Judge Goldspring ordered Al-Jayoosi to implement a 60-day program on “reducing the risk of radicalization,” 100 hours of unpaid work and imposed a two-year exclusion order barring him from visit Golders Green.

The case had been investigated by the anti-terrorism command of the Metropolitan Police.

The Terrorism Law of 2000 prohibits the wearing of clothing in a public place that suggests that he is a member or supporter of a terrorist group. The offense is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to six months.

The British government banned 77 groups under the same law, including Isis, al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups, as well as neo-Nazi and separatist organizations.

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