Two women charged with terrorism offence, as police appeal to identify two other protestors
Two women who were arrested on suspicion of a terrorism offence following a public appeal for information have been charged.
The charge relates to activity at a protest in Whitehall on Saturday, 14 October.
Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “We have worked swiftly and decisively to investigate this matter and that has led to these two women being charged with terrorism offences only a week after issuing our public appeal.
“We know that the public are very concerned about some people using the veil of legitimate protest to carry out criminal or even terrorist activity and we have shown that we will do everything we can to identify where that happens and that we will seek to bring those who may be responsible to face justice.”
Heba Alhayek, 29 (14.08.94), and Pauline Ankunda, 26 (19.06.97), both of south London, were both charged on Friday, 3 November with the following offence:
On 14 October, in a public place, namely Whitehall, carried or displayed an article, namely an image displaying a paraglider, in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that she is a supporter of a proscribed organisation, namely Hamas, contrary to section 13(1) Terrorism Act 2000.
On Friday 27 October, officers issued an image appeal to identify three women sought by detectives as part of an investigation linked to a pro-Palestine protest on 14 October.
Two women were arrested on Monday, 30 October. They were both released on bail until Friday 3 November, and subsequently charged with the above offence upon their return.
The charges were authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Both women have been released on bail and are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 10 November.
Officers continue to seek the public’s help to identify the third woman, described as black, wearing a red coat and with a dark scarf containing a flower pattern and baggy jeans.
As part of a separate ongoing investigation, officers are also still asking for the public’s help to identify a man seen waving a placard with the words “I fully support Hamas” on it during a protest on Bond Street on Saturday, 21 October.
He has short hair, light skin and is wearing a blue jacket with a light top underneath, a light stripy scarf around his neck, and light trousers or jeans.
Commander Dominic Murphy added: “My officers are working night and day with our colleagues across the country to investigate suspected terrorism offences committed in the real world and online.
“The public’s support is vital to us and I’m grateful to everyone who has reported information to us already and I urge anyone who has information about the man and woman we are still seeking to get in touch. Equally, should the people in the pictures recognise themselves, then I also urge them to come forward so we can speak with them.”
Anyone who knows who these people are or has information that could help the investigation is asked to please report it in confidence online at gov.uk/ACT or by calling 0800 789 321.