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James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence

Police say viewing, downloading or disseminating video within the UK could come under terrorism laws

Scotland Yard has warned people in the UK that watching, downloading or disseminating the video purporting to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley could be treated as a criminal offence.

The Metropolitan police said on Wednesday that it is investigating the contents of the video under its counter terrorism command, indicating that its public use or its being shared online could be seen as a criminal offence under the UK’s terrorism legislation, the Guardian reported.

“The Metropolitan police service counter terrorism command (SO15) is investigating the contents of the video that was posted online in relation to the alleged murder of James Foley,” it said in a statement.

Twitter said it is cracking down on the spread of gory images across its networking platform after links to the video and screenshots of the alleged murder of Mr Foley had been shared on the platform.