Did You Watch the James Foley Video? According to the Met, 25 Per Cent of Brits are Now Terrorists [Updated]

By Tom Pritchard on at

Thanks to the Metropolitan Police's definition of what classifies a person as a terrorist, anybody who saw, or heard, even a glimpse of the shocking beheading video of American journalist James Foley could be facing imminent arrest. Effectively this makes 25 per cent of the British population a threat to the safety and security of the nation. Madness.

According to The Register, the Met released a statement on Wednesday stating that the force "would like to remind the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating extremist material within the UK may constitute an offence under Terrorism legislation."

Nearly 16 million British people may end up officially classified as terrorists, under this legislation. But we have severe doubts over whether the Met would actually enforce this, given the wording ("may") at the very least. And what are they going to do, arrest David Cameron? [YouGov via The Register]

Update 15/08: The Register got in touch with the Met to determine how a person would go about being charged with watching the video on YouTube. According to the Met someone will not be arrested for watching the video alone, and the Register has determined that there is nothing in anti-terror legislation that states it's an offence to watch a video. Distributing it is another story altogether.