Wednesday, November 26, 2014

UK: New counter-terrorism bill introduced

From Homeland Security NewsWire:

U.K. government's sweeping new counterterrorism bill unveiled today

26 November 2014

The U.K. government unveils today (Wednesday) sweeping new measures to combat extremism and terrorism, and tackle radicalization, in the United Kingdom. Among other measures, the new counterterrorism bill will require schools and universities to exclude radical speakers from their campuses, and give the home secretary the powers to deny entry (or re-entry) to the United Kingdom to U.K. British citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism-related activity abroad. These citizens’ travel documents will be cancelled and their names placed on no-fly lists for up to two years. Home Secretary Theresa May said: “We are engaged in a struggle that is fought on many fronts and in many forms. It is a struggle that will go on for many years. And the threat we face right now is perhaps greater than it ever has been. We must have the powers we need to defend ourselves.”


The home secretary, Theresa May, said the bill will also impose a statutory requirement on schools, colleges, prisons, and local councils to help prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

“The organizations subject to the duty [to prevent extremist from speaking on campuses] will have to take into account guidance issued by the home secretary. Where organizations consistently fail, ministers will be able to issue directions to them which will be enforceable by court orders,” May announced....


Concerns about plans to exclude people from the UK if they go abroad to fight with extremist groups have been raised by the UK's reviewer of terror laws.
David Anderson QC said his "central concern" about the proposals first unveiled by David Cameron in early September was: "Where are the courts?"
Temporary Exclusion Orders are one of the measures in the counter terrorism bill published by Theresa May.
It also includes tougher powers to stop people going abroad to fight.
It will include plans to stop some British citizens returning to the UK, and others from leaving the country.
The new Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill includes:
  • Counter-radicalisation measures - requirements that schools, colleges and probation providers help prevent people being radicalised

  • Changes to TPIMs - Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures - to allow the authorities to force suspects to move to another part of the country and restrict their movement outside a certain area

  • Raising the burden of proof for imposing TPIMs from "reasonable belief" to "balance of probabilities"

  • Greater powers to stop people heading abroad to fight - includingcancelling passports at the border for up to 30 days

  • Statutory temporary exclusion orders to control return to the UK of British citizens suspected of terrorist activity

  • Tighter aviation security - requiring airlines to provide passenger data more quickly and effectively, with penalties for those failing to comply

  • A ban on insurance companies from covering ransoms

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