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UK home secretary bans four groups under new anti-terror law

[JURIST] British Home Secretary John Reid [official profile; BBC profile] announced Monday that he is banning four groups under the UK Terrorism Act 2006 [PDF text; Home Office backgrounder]. The UK-based Al-Ghurabaa and the Saved Sect [advocacy websites], as well as the foreign groups Baluchistan Liberation Army [MIPT backgrounder] and Teyrebaz Azadiye Kurdistan, are the first groups to be named under a controversial Terrorist Act provision that criminalizes the "glorification" of terrorism. The act prohibits membership in the groups and encouragement of support for them. In announcing the bans, Reid said [Home Office press release]:

Proscribing these groups - which are either engaged in terrorism or which glorify terrorist acts - sends a strong signal that the United Kingdom is not prepared to tolerate those who support terrorism here or anywhere in the world.

I am determined to act against those who, while not directly involved in committing acts of terrorism, provide support for and make statements that glorify, celebrate and exalt the atrocities of terrorist groups. I am also committed to ensuring that those organisations that change their name do not avoid the consequences of proscription.

Protecting the public and strengthening national security is my top priority. Proscription powers are an important tool in our armoury in the fight against terrorism. The new, widened, criteria introduced in the Terrorism Act 2006 allows us to create an even more hostile environment in which terrorists find it more difficult to operate, and will assist us in tackling every part of the terrorist network.
A Home Office spokesman said decisions about banning other groups are pending.

The Terrorism Act, introduced in the wake of last year's London bombings [JURIST news archive], became law in March [JURIST report] after the House of Lords backed down on its objection [JURIST report] to the glorification provision. BBC News has more. The Times has additional coverage.

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