Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Britain May Ban 15 Militant Groups

NYT reported The British government unveiled plans on Monday to outlaw 15 foreign Islamic militant groups as part of its campaign against terrorism following the July bombings here.

That is a good idea. Did they ask permission from the local Muslim groups they seem to have been kow-towing to, or did they finally grow a backbone.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke, Britain's senior law enforcement official, published a list of the groups and said he would seek Parliament's approval to "proscribe" them under counterterrorism laws approved in 2000. The groups include Ansar al-Sunna, a group based in northern Iraq that has taken responsibility for suicide attacks in Kurdish areas and is believed to be an offshoot of Ansar al-Islam, another group in the region that was also on the British list. The Home Office said the groups would be effectively outlawed, and that anyone charged with being a member or supporter could face a prison term of up to 10 years and have their assets frozen. In past years, Britain has banned 25 foreign groups, including Al Qaeda, and 14 groups in Northern Ireland, including the Irish Republican Army and various Protestant militant groups. "Proscription is an important power and not one to be used lightly," Mr. Clarke said on Monday. The list published on Monday included Islamic militant groups associated with Libya, Somalia, Morocco, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Some were said to have been formed in Afghanistan in the 1990's.

Rantingprofs blogged I'm far from a constitutional scholar, but I imagine that in this country rather than ban membership in a group outright you'd try and nail people on conspiracy charges, crime for crime, wouldn't you?

Ted Belman blogged Sarcasm demands that I point out that due to PC you don't have to a "terrorist group" to be banned. Being a "militant group" is enough. Why weren't groups associated with Syria, Iran, and Saudi arabia included. And most important, why leave out groups associated with the PA?

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