Isis terror threat: Police will seize passports of suspected fighters returning from Iraq and Syria, says David Cameron
The Prime Minister added that the Government is currently providing equipment to Kurdish forces
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Monday 01 September 2014
The system for monitoring suspected terrorists in Britain is to be strengthened to include restrictions on where they can live, David Cameron announced today.
In a Commons statement unveiling new anti-terror laws to combat the threat from Isis, the Prime Minister also announced that police would be given temporary new powers to seize the passports of suspected terrorists at the border so they could carry out further inquiries into them.
Mr Cameron reached a last-minute agreement with Nick Clegg on a plan to toughen up Tpms (Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures), which replaced the controversial control orders introduced by the previous Labour Government and were seen as a form of house arrest.
The Prime Minister said the reformed Tpms would allow the security agencies to stipulate the location of suspects and impose “exclusion zones” on their movement. This will ensure that many are not allowed to live in London.
But Mr Cameron rejected a call to bring back control orders after Ed Miliband told him: “It was a mistake to get rid of them in the first place.” Mr Cameron insisted that a strengthened Tpms regime was the most effective way forward.
He rejected a plan by Boris Johnson for terror suspects who travel to Syria or Iraq without telling the authorities to be presumed “guilty until proved innocent", claiming it would breach a fundamental principle of the justice system.
Mr Cameron announced a new law to improve information on air passengers available to the law enforcement agencies. Companies and countries not complying would not be allowed to fly to Britain.
The Prime Minister said there was no “military solution” to Isis. He backed US airstrikes against the group in Iraq but dodged questions on whether the UK should launch them. “There is no question of British combat boots on the ground,” he said.
Mr Cameron told MPs that a "tough, patient and comprehensive" approach was needed to defeat extremism. He said: “We should be clear about the root cause of this threat: a poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism that believes in using the most brutal forms of terrorism to force people to accept a warped world view and to live in a medieval state.
"We should be clear this is nothing to do with Islam, which is a religion peacefully observed and devoutly observed by over a billion people and one that inspires countless acts of kindness every day."
Additional reporting by Reuters
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