British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans to combat terrorism, despite admitting that the new measures could be challenged – and potentially over-ruled – in the courts.
The measure include plans to to introduce a law that will prevent British nationals who are engaged in terrorism from returning to the United Kingdom, and also allow immigration officers to strip passports from British nationals they suspect are about to travel to fight for terrorist groups.
David Cameron said that he would not be guilty of a “knee-jerk reaction” to recent threats to the United Kingdom. But he said that the government was determined to disrupt the travel plans of British nationals engaged in jihad. The government can already strip British citizenship from those who are naturalised British citizens and with some dual nationalities.
However, given the country’s treaty obligations, they cannot leave people stateless, so instead it appears that the government will allow terrorists to keep their citizenship but not actually live in the UK. It is unclear how these plans will work but there may be a half-way house, such using one of the uninhabited British isles.
So far, just 23 British passports have been confiscated, compared to 1,400 taken away from suspected football hooligans ahead of the Brazil World Cup. The Prime Minister suggested this was because the passports can only be confiscated in advance, not at the border, something the government will now change.
British passports are not a right even for UK citizens and they can be confiscated through the “Royal Prerogative”, although the Prime Minister confirmed that this power was being challenged through the courts. Mr Cameron said the government would prepare legislation to be introduced if the government loses that case.
The Prime Minister said: “Adhering to British values is not a choice, it is a duty for everyone living on these islands”. He did warn that fundamentalism was a major threat, and confirmed that in addition to 500 British nationals believed to be fighting for ISIS, there are 700 French and 400 Germans. These are backed up by volunteers from across the world.
The Prime Minister quoted the European Council who said the creation of the Islamic Caliphate was a “direct threat to every European country”. He also said that he was “shocked and sickened by the barbarism” of the regime.
Today’s statement comes amidst growing concerns that Britain is about to suffer a terrorist attack. As previously reported on Breitbart London the elite Special Air Service of the British Army (SAS) are warning the country could be subjected to a Mubai-style attack. Mumbai was attacked in 2008 by jihadis who roamed the corridors of various major buildings shooting all non-Muslims. A total of 164 people were killed and over 300 were injured.
Britain’s terror threat level was raised last week to “severe” which means that an attack is “highly likely”. The threat of attack is widely thought to be from low-tech, lone knife attacks or co-ordinated shootings rather than a more sophistication 9/11 type attack.
Britain does not know how many jihadis have returned from Syria and Iraq but they do consider them to the biggest national security threat against the country in decades. In response to rumours and hoaxes about a major attack on London David Cameron broke from usual security arrangements to walk the short distance from 10 Downing Street to the House of Commons. He wore Union Jack cufflinks and talked about rugby in a deliberate effort to re-assure the public.
Yesterday the King of Saudi Arabia – who is considered an ally of the West despite radicals in his country – warned that Europe faced an attack within the next month unless they acted with “power and speed” to protect themselves.