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David Cameron threaten to ban British jihadists who fight for Isil in Syria and Iraq


British jihadists who fight for Isil in Syria and Iraq will be barred from returning to this country for at least two years to prevent terror attacks, David Cameron has announced.

The Prime Minister has unveiled a raft of new anti-terror laws including powers to strip teenage jihadists of their passports and bar airlines from landing in the UK if they fail to provide passenger information.

Mr Cameron made the announcement in an address to the Australian Parliament in which he said Britain had to take action to deal with the threat posed by œforeign fighters planning attacks against our people

More than 500 Britons have travelled to Iraq and Syria to take up arms with Isil, and around half of them are thought to have returned to Britain. More than 200 people have been arrested for terror threats in the past year alone.

Under new œtemporary exclusion orders, British fighters in Syria and Iraq will be barred from returning to this country unless they submit to strict conditions.

The orders, which will be signed off from the Home Secretary, would be made on the basis of œreasonable suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity Suspected terrorists will have their passports cancelled and be put on a œno fly list to prevent them from returning.

Those that repeatedly try to return to Britain will be interviewed by police and either face prosecution, tough restrictions on their movements or be forced to attend de-radicalisation programmes.

It is thought that officers could travel abroad to interview suspected jihadists and determine whether they are to be banned from returning to the UK.

They will be subjected to bail-like conditions and required to attend regular interviews with police and notify the authorities of any changes in their address or contact from extremists.

The orders will last for up to two years, and can be renewed again at the end of that period. Those that attempt to return to Britain in secret will face a five year jail term under a new criminal offence.

The measure is likely to prove controversial. When Mr Cameron first raised the prospect of barring British jihadists from returning to the UK in August Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, said it was likely to be a œnon starter

He pointed out that withdrawing an individual's passport would effectively make them œstateless, a breach of UN laws.

The new powers, which have been drawn up with the help of the current Attorney General, attempt to avoid the issue by giving people the option of returning under tough conditions.

The new powers will also enable police and border officials at airports to seize the passports of suspected terrorists on the spot at airports. At present, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has to authorise each decision by Royal Prerogative.

David Cameron has previously pointed to the fact that despite the fact more than 500 Britons have travelled to Syria and Iraq, just 24 have had their passports seized.

The plans will also enable police and border officials to seize the passports of under 18s after security services raised concerns at the growing number of jihadi teenagers.

They include Salma and Zahra Halane, 16-year-old twins from Manchester who travelled to Syria earlier this year and are now thought to be living with their Isil fighter husbands. They pair have 28 GCSEs between them and previously had ambitions to become doctors.

Jaffar Deghayes, a 17-year-old British Muslim from Brighton, is thought to have died fighting in Syria earlier this year six months after joining his brother.

Passports could be seized for up to 30 days, and the decision would be reviewed by a magistrate after two weeks. They would also be placed on the œno-fly list.

Mr Cameron also announced that airlines will be banned from flying terror suspects back to Britain and compelled to carry out additional passenger screening if requested. They will also be required by law to share passenger data.

Those that fail to do so will face civil penalties, which could include banning them from landing in Britain.

Mr Cameron addressed the Australian Parliament in Canberra ahead of the G20 meeting of world leaders this weekend.

He said: œWe have to deal with the threat of foreign fighters planning attacks against our people.

œBut as well as dealing with the consequences of this threat, we also have to address its root cause. And let's be frank.

œIt's not poverty, though of course our nations are united in tackling deprivation wherever it exists.

œIt's not exclusion from the mainstream. Of course we have more to do but we are both successful multicultural democracies where opportunities abound.

œNo, the root cause of the challenge we face is the extremist narrative. So we must confront this extremism in all its forms. We must ban extremist preachers from our countries. We must root out extremism from our schools, universities and prisons.

Source: NDTV

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