UK to ban radical campus speakers, ransom payments

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2014 00:53 IST

Britain on Monday unveiled a raft of new measures to meet the challenge of terrorism, including a ban on radical speakers on university campuses, a ban on insurers covering the cost of terrorism-related ransom, and new curbs on Britons going abroad to fight.

Security officials have currently placed Britain at a terror threat level at ‘severe’, which means a terror attack is ‘highly likely’. The number of Britons reported to have travelled to fight with Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria is around 500.

Stating that “the time is right”to put in place the new measures, Home secretary Theresa May said a new Counter Terrorism and Security Bill will be moved on Wednesday.

It will be fast-tracked through parliament to become law before the May 2015 elections, she said. The bill will place a statutory duty on schools, colleges, prisons and local councils to help prevent people from being drawn into terrorism, the home secretary has said.

Universities would have to show that they have put in place policies to deal with extremist speakers. The home secretary confirmed that the new counter-terror law will include powers to exclude from the UK British citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism-related activity abroad.

Their travel documents will be cancelled and their names placed on ’no-fly lists’ for up to two years.

She added, “It is not a knee-jerk response to a sudden perceived threat. It is a properly considered, thought-through set of proposals that will help to keep us safe at a time of very significant danger.”

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