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UK drops terrorism case against YouTuber and former army officer Adil Raja due to lack of evidence

LONDON: Counter-Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) has decided to drop a terrorism case against Adil Raja, a former Pakistan Army officer turned social media activist and YouTuber.

Consequently, no further action will be taken against him regarding his arrest in connection with the May 9 terrorism incitement case.

Raja was apprehended from the Chesham area on terrorism charges by CTPSE detectives at the Thames Valley Police on June 12, 2023, on suspicion of terrorism offenses in Pakistan linked to the May 9 violence.

However, police sources now indicate that the case has been closed due to a “lack of evidence” implicating Raja in terrorist activities.

The YouTuber was arrested under Section 59 of the UK’s Terrorism Act 2000.

Sources reveal that Raja was detained for “inciting a non-UK person to act outside the UK – terrorism 09/05/2023,” but the police have opted to release the former military officer from the investigation “without charge” and without further action “after considering the evidence and other available information.”

Earlier, police had informed Geo News that Raja was detained for allegedly “inciting terrorism” in Pakistan on May 9 the previous year, during violent riots following the arrest of Imran Khan, during which several military installations were targeted.

Pakistani authorities had raised complaints to the UK regarding Raja and Haider Mehdi, a Canada-based broadcaster and retired Pakistan army officer, alleging violations of UK laws during a live broadcast immediately after Khan’s arrest.

While Raja was arrested over a month after the May 9 violence, Canadian authorities took no action against Mehdi.

A police source mentions that the counter-terrorism department has decided to close the investigation following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), citing “insufficient evidence” for a successful prosecution against Raja.

Evidence reveals that Winchester Crown Court had issued an arrest and search warrant against Adil Raja on June 12, 2023, under Section 9 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

During police interrogations, Raja denied any involvement in inciting terrorism. He was represented by criminal law defense expert Akhtar Ahmad from ABV Solicitors.

According to UK law, a decision not to charge may be reviewed if it is deemed incorrect and should not stand.

Following his arrest, Raja was bailed three times as police examined evidence, including Raja’s computer device. All electronic devices, including his computer, have been returned by the police, with Raja now seeking compensation for damages incurred during the investigation.

Raja arrived in the UK after Imran Khan’s government was ousted by the parliament. He faces several cases in Pakistan, which he denies as politically motivated.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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