United Kingdom frustrates 19 terrorist attacks in 2 years and suppresses ISIS trips
LONDON: The government of the United Kingdom announced on Monday a new crackdown on its citizens traveling to the territory of the Islamic State () in Syria, as it revealed that British security forces had frustrated 19 of the main ones in the past two years.
In a speech on national security in Scotland Yard the central office in London, United Kingdom, the Home Secretary warned British citizens to leave the territories ravaged by conflict or risk a prison sentence of up to 10 years, effectively enforcing a travel ban on Idlib and the northeast of Syria under new powers to face suspected terrorists.
Every day, our security services fight against terrorism, from large international terrorist groups to radicalized individuals. In the last two years, they have thwarted 19 major terrorist attacks, 14 of them Islamist, and five motivated by the extreme right. -Deter ideologies, said Javid, the most important minister of Pakistani origin in the United Kingdom.
And despite this impressive work, the pace of terrorist activity is increasing, he warned.
In exposing the details of the new United States Border and Terrorism Security Act, it revealed powers to designate a region anywhere in the world and make it a crime for British citizens.
He said: I asked my officials to work closely with the police and intelligence agencies of CT (Counterterrorism) to urgently review the case to exercise this power in relation to Syria, with a particular focus on Idlib and the Northeast.
So, anyone who is in these areas without a legitimate reason must be notified. I can also see that there may be a case in the future to consider the designation of parts of West Africa.
The Act follows the high-profile case of the British Bangladeshi student Shamima Begum, who had traveled to the region controlled by ISIS more than four years before being discovered in a detention camp earlier this year. Since then she has been stripped of her British citizenship and her London-based family has launched a legal offer to bring her back.
Deprivation is never a step that is taken lightly ... When we evaluate that someone represents a real threat, we will work to prevent them from returning. Sometimes, to do that, I have to deprive people of their British nationality, said Javid.
If the Syrian regions are designated under the new law of the United Kingdom, the British detained by the Syrian Defense Forces will be considered unable to leave and return to the United Kingdom. A person who is already in a designated area at the time of designation will not commit a crime if he leaves the area within the month following the date the order was made.
Other exemptions have been included in the legislation, which was passed last month, to protect those who have a legitimate reason to be in a designated area or conduct online investigations, such as journalists.
As part of a package of security measures, Javid also announced the appointment of attorney Jonathan Hall as Independent Reviewer of the Terrorism Legislation.
Given that the threat of terrorism continues to evolve and diversify, it is vital that we have strong oversight to ensure that our anti-terrorism laws are fair, necessary and proportionate, said Javid.
As part of the new role, Hall must submit an annual report on its findings, which the government must submit to Parliament and publish.
The minister stressed the need for a global effort to combat terrorism, as groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS continue to pose a threat.
He said: Of all the terrorist plots thwarted by the United Kingdom and our Western allies last year, 80 percent were planned by people inspired by the ideology of Daesh (ISIS), but who had never been in contact with the so-called Caliphate. And just as its fighters were recruited from all corners of the world, including too many Brits, we have received an international response to this threat.
Javid's speech also revealed a planned crackdown on hostile espionage activity, with plans for foreign spies to add their names to a registry as part of a new spy bill.
I also asked my officials to consider the case to update the treason laws. Our definition of terrorism is probably broad enough to cover those who betray our country by supporting terrorism abroad. But if updating the old crime of treason would help us to counteract the hostile ones. The activity of the state, then there is merit in considering that too, he said.