5 The UK's response to the terrorist
88. Terrorist plots and acts of terrorism are investigated
by the police and the security and intelligence agencies. Government
funding for counter-terrorism policing was £573 million in
2012-13. The security and intelligence agencies receive a budget
of £2.1 billion. In 2011-12 MI5 allocated 72% of its resources
to international counter-terrorism whereas MI6 and GCHQ allocated
roughly a third each of their budgets to international counter-terrorism.
89. The current UK threat level is substantial, having
been downgraded from severe in July 2011. That means that an attack
is a strong possibility. Since its inception in 2006, the threat
level was either severe or critical up until July 2009 when it
was listed as substantial. It was upgraded to severe in January
2010 before the July 2011 downgrade.
This latter period has coincided with a liberalisation in terrorism
laws following a review of Counter-Terrorism legislation carried
out by the coalition Government. David Anderson QC welcomed the
changes since 2010 in his written evidence to this inquiry.
Over the past few years, the anti-terrorism laws
and their operation have been cautiously liberalised in areas
ranging from stop and search and retention of biometric data to
detention periods and control orders. In successive reports I
have found the liberalisation-but also the caution-to be justified.
I have pointed to gaps in protection, though it is often difficult
to do so publicly. I have also made recommendations for further
change. A few such recommendations (for example the possibility
of bail for those arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000) have
been rejected, at least for now. Others have been partially adopted
or are currently in train: in particular, the review and amendment
of Schedule 7 port powers and the revocation of outdated and potentially
unlawful proscription orders.
90. Acts of terrorism are not generally charged under
terrorist legislation-the perpetrators of the attack of Fusilier
Lee Rigby and the man responsible for the death of Mohammed Saleem
were both charged with (and convicted of) murder rather than a
terrorist offence although both cases were investigated as terrorism.
Instead terrorism legislation is intended to prevent both radicalisation
(which can lead to acts of terrorism) and acts of terrorism themselves.
The purpose of terrorism legislation is to
· Ensure that what are known as 'prior acts'
(such as preparation, training, dissemination, possession for
terrorist purposes and even encouragement) are criminalised, and
· To criminalise individuals who may have
known about the intentions of terrorists (non-disclosure to the
police or being present during training).
There is also a degree of associated legislation
which can be used to disrupt terrorist action. In this inquiry
we have mainly focused on the effectiveness of the UK counter-terrorism
policy and legislation which can be used to disrupt the activities
of foreign fighters. In this chapter we also discuss the possible
transfer of counter-terrorism policing from the Metropolitan Police
to the National Crime Agency.
Countering terrorist activity
91. Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 empowers
police, immigration officers and designated customs officers to
stop and question travellers at ports, airports, or hover ports
in order to ascertain whether they are a terrorist, which for
this purpose means "a person who is or has been concerned
in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism".
There is no requirement that the officer have reasonable grounds
for suspicion that the person is involved in terrorism before
the powers can be exercised. The person being questioned can be
· detained for questioning for up to 6 hours;
· required to answer questions and provide
information and documents on pain of criminal penalty; and,
· searched, as can any property they have
on them (including personal electronic devices such as laptop
computers, tablets and mobile phones). That property can be seized
and retained for examination.
Failure to comply with any duties or requests is
a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 months.
The powers are used on a considerable scale (approximately 60,000
stops a year) and,
according to the EHRC, the ethnic breakdown of those subjected
to the power suggests a statistical disproportionality in terms
92. There has been further controversy following
the use of schedule 7 to detain David Miranda at Heathrow Airport
in August 2013. Mr Miranda is the partner of Guardian journalist
Glenn Greenwald (the author of the Guardian newspaper stories
based on classified intelligence material leaked by Edward Snowden).
He was in transit at Heathrow airport on his way from Berlin to
Rio de Janeiro when he was detained and questioned for 9 hours.
His electronic devices were seized and detained by the police
as the devices were understood to contain material provided by
Mr Snowden to the Guardian, including some 58,000 classified UK
Following his detention, Mr Miranda brought a judicial review
of the decision to detain him under schedule 7 which was dismissed
in February 2014 (although he has publicly stated his intention
to appeal against the decision.).
The Miranda judicial review is one of a number of legal challenges
to Schedule 7 which have been brought and a number of changes
to the process have been incorporated in the Anti-Social Behaviour,
Crime and Policing Act 2014. The amendments include a statutory
review of the detention at regular intervals, the introduction
of a code of practice and safeguards on the retention of electronic
93. The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation
(who reports annually on the use of schedule 7) had previously
been intending to report on the use of schedule 7 to detain David
Miranda at Heathrow Airport in August 2013. Following the outcome
of legal proceedings brought by Mr Miranda against the decision
to detain him under schedule 7 and the Royal Assent of the Anti-social
Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act in March 2014, Mr Anderson has
decided to not to issue such a report. Instead he will include
any recommendations in his annual report which will likely be
published in July 2014.
Mr Anderson raised a number of issues in evidence to us which
were not dealt with in the Act, specifically:
· An introduction of a test of grounds of
suspicion when ancillary powers are used (such as detention or
making copies of material found on the person);
· The use of answers given under compulsion
in a criminal court; and
· The treatment of legally privileged material,
excluded material and special procedure material.
We believe that all of these issues should be subject
to further review and we await Mr Anderson's report.
WITHDRAWAL OF PASSPORTS
94. In April 2013, the Home Secretary made a Written
Ministerial Statement to the House which announced a change in
the rules allowing the Home Secretary to prove that it was 'undesirable'
for such a person to have a British passport as opposed to 'demonstrably
undesirable'. The statement contained the commitment to use the
It also included the following reference to its purposes for countering
For example, passport facilities may be refused
to or withdrawn from British nationals who may seek to harm the
UK or its allies by travelling on a British passport to, for example,
engage in terrorism-related activity or other serious or organised
criminal activity. This may include individuals who seek to engage
in fighting, extremist activity or terrorist training outside
the United Kingdom, for example, and then return to the UK with
enhanced capabilities that they then use to conduct an attack
on UK soil. The need to disrupt people who travel for these purposes
has become increasingly apparent with developments in various
parts of the world.
95. In the past the use of the power has been thought
to have been rare. It was reported to have been used only 16 times
between 1947 and 1976. It was also reported to have been used
in 2005 following the return from Guantanamo Bay of Martin Mubanga,
Feroz Abbasi, Richard Belmar and Moazzam Begg,
However, because it is a royal prerogative there is no requirement
for the Home Office to report its use to Parliament. When he gave
evidence to us on the 18 March 2014, the Immigration and Security
Minister informed the Committee that the Royal Prerogative had
been used 14 times since April 2013. He told us that none of those
who have had their passport removed have challenged the decision
by way of judicial review.
He also repeated the commitment to the Royal Prerogative being
used proportionately, in the public interest and sparingly.
96. The withdrawal of passports is a vital tool
in preventing UK citizens from travelling to foreign conflicts.
We understand the need to use the prerogative power to withdraw
or withhold a citizen's passport. Given that the estimates of
foreign fighters are in the low hundreds, we are surprised that
it has only been used 14 times since April 2013 and recommend
that, in all appropriate circumstances where there is evidence,
the power is utilised as an exceptional preventative and temporary
measure. However, we note that its use is not subject to any scrutiny
external to the executive. We recommend that the Home Secretary
report quarterly on its use to the House as is currently done
with TPIMs and allow the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation
to review the exercise of the Royal Prerogative as part of his
97. Another method to address the issue of British
citizens (with dual citizenship) fighting in Syria is removing
their British citizenship. Using powers in the British Nationality
Act, the Home Secretary can terminate the British citizenship
of dual-nationality individuals if she believes their presence
in the UK is 'not conducive to the public good', or if they have
obtained their citizenship through fraud. Deprivation of citizenship
orders can be made with no judicial approval in advance, and take
immediate effect-the only route for people to argue their case
is through legal appeals. When we took evidence from the Immigration
and Security Minister he informed us that deprivation of citizenship
orders had been made in 41 cases since 2010-24 on non-conducive
grounds and 17 on fraud grounds. He refused to specify how many
cases were linked to Syria.
98. At present, only dual nationals can have their
British citizenship withdrawn. However, there is currently legislation
being debated which would allow a naturalised mono-British national
to have their citizenship removed (which would make them stateless)
is conducive to the public good because the person,
while having that citizenship status, has conducted him or herself
in a manner which is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests
of the United Kingdom, any of the Islands, or any British overseas
In such cases, the Government maintains, the individual
can attempt to (re)acquire an alternative nationality.
99. In a Westminster Hall debate on the subject,
the Immigration and Security Minister noted that the power would
be used 'sparingly' but emphasised that deprivation of citizenship
would be imposed even if the individual could not obtain alternative
nationality. If the individual were in the UK and unable to obtain
alternative nationality, they could apply to remain in the UK
as a stateless person. He noted that
The UK would continue to comply with the provisions
of the 1961 UN convention on the reduction of statelessness, regarding
the rights of stateless persons. Where appropriate, we could regularise
a person's position in the UK by granting limited leavepossibly
with conditions relating to access to public funds and their right
to work and study.
We were surprised when the Minister informed us that
the policy approach had been based on a single case (the Al-Jedda
case) and that the focus had been on individuals who would be
able to apply for alternative nationality. Mr Al-Jedda is not
currently in the UK, hence the Minister's apparent lack of concern,
but the legislation would seem to have no discernible outcome
were it used against someone whilst they were in the UK.
100. On Monday 7 April the House of Lords voted to
amend the Immigration Bill to further investigate the efficacy
of the policy. The House voted to replace the clause with the
(1) A committee of members of both Houses of
Parliament shall be established to consider and report on whether
section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981 (deprivation of
citizenship) should be amended to enable the Secretary of State
to deprive a person of their citizenship status if
(a) the citizenship status results from the person's
(b) the Secretary of State is satisfied that
the deprivation is conducive to the public good because the person,
while having that citizenship status, has conducted him or herself
in a manner which is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests
of the United Kingdom, any of the Islands, or any British overseas
even if to do so would have the effect of making
a person stateless.
(2) The committee shall consist of six members
of the House of Lords nominated by the Chairman of Committees,
and six members of the House of Commons nominated by the Speaker
of the House of Commons, to be appointed on the passing of this
Act to serve for the duration of the present Parliament.
(3) Any casual vacancy occurring by reason of
the death, resignation or incapacity of a member of the committee
shall be filled by the nomination of a member by the Chairman
of Committees or the Speaker of the House of Commons, as the case
(4) The quorum of the committee shall be two
members of each House and the committee shall be entitled to sit
and to transact business whether Parliament be sitting or not,
and notwithstanding a vacancy in the membership of the committee.
(5) Subject to the above provisions, the committee
may regulate its own procedure.
We welcome the decision to constitute a joint committee
to look at the proposal to strip the citizenship of naturalised
citizenship. We hope that one of the issues will examine is the
impact making a person stateless whilst they are in the United
101. We have grave concerns about how effective
the deprivation of mono-citizenship powers will be. Drafting legislation
on the basis of an individual case lessens the impact of the legislation
because the exact circumstances are unlikely to repeat themselves.
We support the Minister's commitment to the power being used sparingly.
We recommend that the Government endeavour to use the power only
when the person subject to the decision is outside the UK.
TERRORISM PREVENTION AND INVESTIGATION
102. Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures
(TPIMs) were introduced in January 2012 as the successor to control
are used by the Government to monitor and restrict the actions
of those who are suspected of terrorist-related activity but who
cannot be prosecuted or deported. The Home Secretary is responsible
for the decision to make an individual subject to a TPIM order,
but subject to the prior approval of the court, except in urgent
cases, where the court must consider the TPIM notice within seven
days of it being issued. The subject is not permitted to participate
in these hearings directly, but his or her interests are represented
by a special advocate appointed (in England and Wales) by the
Attorney General. The special advocate is not responsible to the
person whose interests he or she is appointed to represent.
103. A TPIM notice may be made by the Secretary of
State only if the following five conditions are satisfied:
· The Secretary of State must reasonably
believe that the individual is or has been involved in terrorism-related
activity, as very broadly defined ("Condition A");
· Some or all of that activity must be "new"
("Condition B"), though in the case of a first TPIM
to be imposed on a given subject, this condition is always met
since activity occurring at any time is deemed to be "new".
· The Secretary of State must reasonably
consider that it is necessary, for purposes connected with protecting
members of the public (whether in the UK or overseas) from a risk
of terrorism, for TPIMs to be imposed on the individual ("Condition
· The Secretary of State must reasonably
consider that it is necessary, for purposes connected with preventing
or restricting the individual's involvement in terrorism-related
activity, for the specified TPIMs to be imposed on the individual
· The High Court must give prior permission
for the TPIM notice to be imposed, such permission to be withheld
when the decisions of the Secretary of State on Conditions A-D
are "obviously flawed", save in urgent cases where permission
may be obtained retrospectively ("Condition E").
104. Given that two of those subject to TPIMs have
absconded (Ibrahim Magag absconded on 26 December 2012 and Mohammed
Ahmed Mohamed on 1 November 2013), one has been revoked whilst
the subject is in prison and that the remaining TPIMs expired
by 10 February 2014,
we feel that it is a subject worth examining in more detail. There
are currently no active TPIMs. TPIM subjects in 2013 were subject
to restrictions which included overnight residence at a specified
address, GPS tagging, reporting requirements, and restrictions
on travel, movement, association, communication, finances, work
105. TPIM notices expire after a year, and may be
renewed for a maximum of one further year. The TPIMs imposed at
the start of 2012 expired, after the single permitted extension,
in early 2014. This means that people who have been judged by
the Home Secretary and by the courts to be potentially dangerous
are now, unless they are prosecuted or new evidence of terrorism-related
activity is found, free from restrictions.
The difference between control orders and TPIMs
106. In his 2012 report on TPIMs, David Anderson
QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation included
a table which set out the difference between control orders and
||Legal test for imposition of control order: reasonable suspicion of involvement in terrorism-related activity; order must be necessary to protect the public.
||Legal test for imposition of TPIM notice: reasonable belief of involvement in terrorism-related activity; measures must be necessary to protect the public.
|Duration ||Order lasted maximum of 12 months. Renewable if necessary to protect the public; no maximum number of renewals where necessity test satisfied. Orders in place in a small number of cases for over 4 years.
||Order lasts maximum of 12 months extendable once, giving maximum time limit of 2 years. Evidence of further engagement in terrorism-related activity required to justify a further notice beyond 2 years.
|Any obligation to protect the public could be imposed where judged necessary and proportionate to disrupt terrorism-related activity. (The obligations were not set out in detail on the face of the legislation.)
||A narrower range of measures-described in detail on the face of the Act-can be imposed where judged necessary and proportionate to disrupt terrorism-related activity
|Curfew / Overnight residence requirement / Residence requirement
||Maximum curfews of up to 16 hours for non-derogating control orders with electronic tagging available to monitor compliance.
||A requirement to reside overnight at a specified residence (most TPIM notice specify 10 hours)-with limited stays at other locations possible. Electronic tagging available to monitor compliance.
||Option to relocate individuals to Home Office provided accommodation-potentially several hours travel away from current residence.
||No power to relocate away from local area without agreement. A power to provide alternative accommodation within the locality of the home address.
||Option to have complete prohibition of access to mobile phones, computers and the internet (and associated technology/equipment).
||All individuals have a right to use one mobile phone without internet access and one landline telephone. All individuals will be able to have access to the internet through one home computer. Use of equipment will be subject to necessary controls e.g. regular inspection and notification of passwords.
||Option to prohibit association with any named individuals where necessary. And option to prohibit association without permission with anyone other than named individuals and specified descriptions of persons.
||Option to prohibit association with named individuals retained. Association with any other person requires notification. (Policy intention is that notification will be required on the first occasion (and will be unrestricted on subsequent occasions)).
|Work/study||Option to require notification and/or approval of work and study.
|Boundary||Option to impose a very restrictive geographical boundary-limiting the individual to a relatively narrow area and excluding him from areas of significant concern. Option to impose a limit on entry to one of more mosques.
||No geographical boundaries. Power to exclude from particular places-streets or specified areas or towns-or descriptions of places (e.g. airports, specified mosques).
||Option to prohibit travel abroad.
||Option to prohibit travel abroad without permission of Secretary of State.
||Option to require daily reporting to the police.
|Financial||Option to place restrictions on use of financial services and transfers of property and requirements to disclose details of property.
|Renewal||Annual renewal of Act
||Renewal of Act every five years
|Derogation||Derogating control orders possible-if Government was to derogate from Article 5 (right to liberty) of the European Convention on Human Rights-imposing 24 hour curfew (house arrest).
||No power orders.|
|Prospects of prosecution
||Police must keep prospects of prosecution under review, consulting CPS as necessary
||Police must keep prospects of prosecution under review, consulting CPS as necessary. Police under statutory duty to inform Home Office of outcome.
Source: TPIMs report 2012, Pg. 102
107. The Quilliam Foundation noted that
The Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures
Act 2011 is a welcome amendment that repeals and replaces the
Control Orders in the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. It thereby
ensures greater compatibility with the ECHR and less intrusion
on the human rights of the individuals subject to them than the
previous control orders, particularly in reference to the potential
forced relocation and indefinite length of the control orders
that have now both been written out of the revised TPIM legislation.
However there remain several significant problems with TPIMs that
mean they are inconsistent with a clear human rights-based counter-extremism
Cerie Bullivant, who was subject to a control order
between 2006 and 2008, told us that he saw very little difference
between the two. Although he welcomed the abolition of the power
to relocate subjects and the two-year limit on the duration of
a TPIM, he told us that life under each order would be exactly
the same. The
Quilliam Foundation suggested that one way of improving TPIMs
would be to have an additional element that comprises de-radicalisation,
rehabilitation and reintegration.
An exit strategy developed by specialised probation officers with
approved mentors from external organisations was the recommendation
made by David Anderson QC.
We return to this subject below.
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed
108. On 1 November 2013, Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed absconded
from his TPIM by entering a mosque, removing his electronic tag
and leaving dressed in a burkha. In the statutory review of his
TPIM in 2012, the High Court found that Mr Mohamed was closely
linked to a UK-based terrorist network with links to Al Qaida
and Al-Shabaab. He had travelled to Somalia where he received
training in 2008 from experienced Al-Shabaab operatives, after
which he went on to fight for them on the front line in Somalia.
He helped others to travel from the UK to Somalia for similar
purposes and he facilitated the support of the UK-based network
for terrorism-related activity in Somalia. The network, which
included Ibrahim Magag and Jama Hersi, had access to money (which
Mr Mohamed was involved in procuring), false passports and documentation,
as well as equipment, and was involved in procuring funds for
terrorism-related activity. Between 2008 and 2010, Mr Mohamed
was involved in procuring weapons and planning attacks in Somalia
and elsewhere, including a planned attack on the Juba Hotel in
Mogadishu in August 2010. Other attacks were planned against western
interests in Somaliland.
The Home Office have provided us with a chronology of their involvement
with Mr Mohamed (see Annex A).
109. The Metropolitan Police told us that they were
satisfied with their response to the absconsion and did not feel
that it could have been improved upon.
However David Anderson QC has recommended that some form
of locational restraints to be introduced in to TPIMs in order
to lessen the ability of subjects to abscond.
It is deeply worrying that anyone who is subject to a TPIM, or
those who were subjects of control orders, can abscond with relative
ease. We recommend that a review of the types of measures placed
upon subjects needs to be conducted to ensure that enough is being
done to prevent absconsion.
110. During our evidence session it emerged that
Mr Mohammed had been arrested on three occasions, for a total
of 21 suspected breaches of the terms of his Control Order (March
2011 to February 2012) or TPIM (since February 2012) . He was
remanded in custody after each of these arrests, but the Court
subsequently ruled in each case that he should be released on
bail. The prosecution in relation to the third arrest (on suspicion
of a 'tag tamper' on 16 May) was discontinued, but Mr Mohamed
was still on bail when he absconded. He is due to stand trial
for these alleged breaches (which do not include the absconsion)
in the week beginning 28 April 2014. If he is not present, it
is likely that the trial will be postponed. Mr Mohammed has also
brought an appeal against the original decision of the High Court
to uphold his TPIM and a separate civil claim against the Government.
These cases are currently active before the courts and we make
no comment on them, though the next steps are uncertain in Mr
Mohammed's continued absence.
Prosecution of TPIM breaches
111. The Home Office have provided details of other
cases where a TPIM has been breached following their introduction
· One person pleaded guilty to three counts
of breaching: broadcasting without permission, attending a meeting
or gathering without permission and entering an internet cafe
without permission. He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment
on 21 June 2013. Charges in relation to a further three counts
were allowed to lie on file following his guilty plea.
· One person was charged with five counts
of entering an excluded area without permission. The CPS discontinued
the prosecution because, in their view, there was no realistic
prospect of a conviction.
· In three cases (of which Mr Mohamed was
one) charges relating to tampering with the electronic monitoring
tag were discontinued after the CPS concluded that challenges
to the reliability of the forensic evidence meant that, in their
view, there was no realistic prospect of a conviction.
· One person was found not guilty in relation
to two counts of breachingfailure to report to the police
station and failure to report to the monitoring company as required.
· One person is currently remanded in custody
awaiting trial, having been charged with one count of breachinghaving
an unauthorised meeting.
112. David Anderson QC suggested that one of the
difficulties with prosecuting breaches of TPIMs was that juries
often considered the breach to be a 'trivial' matter and were
therefore reluctant to convict. In his report on TPIMs, he gave
Another subject (CF) was charged in June 2012
with entering the Olympic Park, an excluded area, without permission.
The CPS decided not to pursue the prosecution in September 2012.
The alleged breach consisted of CF sitting on
an over-ground train as it crossed the Olympic Park, on his way
to visit his solicitor in Stratford. After receipt of evidence
to the effect that the subject had been advised to take that route
by a junior employee of the solicitor's firm, charges were dropped-presumably
on the basis that if the case had been left to them, the jury
would inevitably have found there to be a reasonable excuse.
The Government's position on decisions to prosecute
for breach of TPIMs is that
The police investigate all potential breaches
and consult with the CPS regarding the viability of prosecution
in each case. Where there is sufficient admissible evidence and
it is deemed to be in the public interest, a prosecution for breach
of the measures in a TPIM notice will usually be taken forward.
However, information provided by the Home Office
shows that at the time of writing there have been three trials
for breach of a TPIM, one guilty plea and two forthcoming trials
(one of which is that of Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed). Not one of the
three trials for a breach of a TPIM has been won by the CPS. In
two trials the defendants have been found not guilty and in the
third, the CPS discontinued the prosecution due to a lack of realistic
prospect of conviction. So far there have been no jury convictions
of breaches of TPIMs or Control Orders and the CPS needs to bear
this in mind when bringing prosecutions. We recommend that the
Government and Crown Prosecution Service produce specific guidance
on investigating and prosecuting breaches. The continued failure
to secure a conviction undermines the system of TPIMs.
The prosecution of 'tag tampering'
113. In regards to the 'tag tamper' case, Mr Mohamed's
solicitorswho represent two-thirds of those subject to
TPIMshave written to us to highlight the deficiencies which
they believe to exist with the tags. They note that all of their
TPIMs clients have been accused of tampering with their tags and
that this is an accusation which "all have strenuously denied
from the outset in police interviews and in subsequent correspondence
from their lawyers to the CPS."
They further note that another TPIM subject who was represented
by a different firm of solicitors had been subject to the same
allegation of tampering with their tag resulting in a tag-tamper
alert for which the CPS maintains that there is "no innocent
explanation". In evidence to us, G4S told us that
In terms of tamper detection systems and capabilities,
this uses proven technology which we have had in place in our
equipment for many years now and which has proved to be extremely
reliable and robust.
114. Mr Mohamed's solicitors have consulted experts
who believe that the tamper alerts are a result of the attachment
of the larger GPS tag which are more likely to be "snagged,
twisted or rotated away from the leg", using the same strap
as used on the smaller, more widely used tags. It has been noted
that the tags have not been subjected to tests to establish the
effect of praying five times a day (which can involve repeated
flexion and rotation of the ankle) can have on the tag and strap,
and that, due to the size of the tag, it can be subject to greater
wear and tear. Mr Mohamed's solicitors note that "more than
one wearer of the new tag has reported tripping/falling down stairs,
and knocking, for instance on a bicycle." Ross Anderson,
Professor of Security Engineering at the University of Cambridge,
was consulted on tampering prosecutions and concluded that
The quality of evidence is poor, and in at least
five cases now, when defence experts have asked to examine the
tags a defendant was supposed to have tampered with, or the systems,
or even samples of straps and clips, the prosecution has been
withdrawn or collapsed.
115. Many breaches of a TPIM order are minor infringements
which might plausibly have happened inadvertently. It is therefore
right that the CPS does not prosecute every single breach, considering
the cost to the public purse and the difficulty of convincing
a jury of the materiality of the alleged breach without being
able to explain the basis on which the relevant restriction was
included in the order. It is worth noting that no prosecution
has been successful following a not-guilty plea and in only one
case has the accused pleaded guilty. In the case of the tag tampering
trial, it is of serious concern that the prosecution was discontinued.
Deliberately tampering with a tag must be viewed as an attempt
to abscond and we recommend that the Home Office request independent
testing of the tags provided by G4S to definitively prove, as
they claim, a tag-tamper alert can only be caused through deliberate
actions. This will enable the Home Office to present reliable
evidence to the court that such an alert cannot be caused inadvertently.
Given that five prosecutions for tag tampering have been withdrawn
or collapsed it is vital that both the public and TPIM subjects
understand the extent to which it might or might not be possible
for a tag-tamper alert to be innocently caused.
De-radicalisation of those subject to TPIMs
116. In his report examining the operation of TPIMs
in 2012, the Independent Reviewer emphasised that the imminent
two-year limit would "focus energies on finding an exit strategy",
but suggested that more needed to be done in this area. He recommended
that exit strategies should in future include the integration
of any related Prevent activity into the management of the TPIM,
as well as giving consideration to some form of dialogue with
subjects similar to that employed in criminal cases, where the
probation service proposes how an individual might best be rehabilitated.
In his 2013 report on TPIMs, David Anderson noted that his central
recommendationthat a power to require attendance at meetings
with specified persons for the purposes of de-radicalisation and
re-integrationwas not accepted by the Government despite
the fact that it was supported by the Joint Committee on Human
Rights, the police, the security service and the National Probation
117. When he appeared before us, Mr Anderson again
highlighted the importance of an exit strategy. He allowed that
it would not de-radicalise all of those subject to TPIMs, but
argued that it might have an impact on some.
Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick also highlighted the need
for a processes for managing the risk associated with the lifting
of TPIM restrictions:
We will need to manage any lingering risk that
there may be around [former TPIM subjects] and also in this phase
work as well as we can with them to try to ensure that they don't
pose any further risk.
We examined de-radicalisation during our inquiry
into The Roots of Violent Radicalisation in 2012, where
we noted the importance of family and community support in the
The anonymity order which is traditionally granted to those on
TPIMs makes this difficult. However the Home Secretary has told
us that Prevent interventions play a part in operational planning
to manage the risk from TPIM subjects after the expiry of TPIM
measures. In his 2013 report, David Anderson QC also emphasised
the importance of devising a TPIMs exit strategy as soon as the
TPIM is imposed in order to allow time for trust to be built between
the TPIM subject and the probation officer.
118. In evidence, Cerie Bullivant told us that no
attempt had been made to de-radicalise him either when his control
order was in force or after it had been quashed, despite the Home
Office continuing to assert that he was dangerous.
We note that in their recent Post Legislative Scrutiny report
which examined TPIMs legislation, the Joint Committee on Human
Rights also questioned the Government's de-radicalisation work
with those subject to TPIMs. The report highlighted that
We sought to find out more about the work being
done with the individuals concerned, such as how it relates to
the Government's wider-de-radicalisation work; what sorts of agencies
or other organisations the Government has sought to involve in
this work; whether any work has been done with the families of
TPIMs subjects, given the significant impact of TPIMs on them
and the risk of creating a new generation subject to the influence
of extremist narratives; and whether any TPIMs subjects are being
actively helped into work or study to assist with their reintegration
when their TPIM expires. On all of these questions, we found the
Government to be unforthcoming.
119. The Home Secretary told us that TPIMs is one
of the tools the Home Office uses for monitoring the activities
of foreign fighters on their return from places like Somalia and
no TPIMs have yet been imposed on those who taken part in the
Syrian conflict. Shiraz Maher, Senior Fellow at the International
Centre for the Study of Radicalisation noted that there had been
variable success with de-radicalisation strategies within the
UK but warned that any strategy to de-radicalise those who had
fought in the Syrian conflict would need to deal with the intra-Muslim
conflict rather than the traditional 'West versus Islam' narrative
on which the PREVENT strategy currently focuses.
120. It is essential that the Government engages
with those placed on a TPIM whilst they are subject to the control
and not only afterwards. It is a missed opportunity not to implement
a de-radicalisation programme until the subjects are free of the
measures. We recommend that all TPIM subjects are placed on a
graduated scheme, which commences concurrently with the measures,
with the sole purpose of engagement and de-radicalisation. We
accept that the anonymity order may cause difficulties in terms
of liaising with the local community when seeking support for
that process. However, we believe that the Government should engage
with community leaders who are working with prisoners and ex-prisoners
who have been radicalised in order to design a programme which
would be suitable for TPIM subjects. Such a programme should take
account of the different narratives of radicalisation. Due to
the constraints placed on a subject it is unlikely that they will
be eager to engage with the state or official parts of society.
It is disastrous, therefore, for a subject to left without a constructive
path towards reintegration following the end of the measures.
The Government must ensure that an exit strategy is started as
soon as the TPIM is imposed upon a subject. We recommend a continuation
of the de-radicalisation engagement programme which they would
have started under the TPIM which evolves into a more practical
scheme enabling the former subject to reconnect with society through
work or education.
Countering extremist narratives
121. In our previous report on counter-terrorism,
we noted that the internet could play a role in the radicalisation
of vulnerable individuals.
The inducement to travel to Syria to fight in the civil war seems
to have taken place largely over social media.
Dr Hegghammer told us
Syria is the most socially mediated conflict
in history and there is an enormous amount of audio-visual documentation
produced by rebels themselves, documenting the things they do
social media affects recruitment simply by linking people
upFacebook, for example. When someone travels to Syria
and posts pictures from there and his friends see those pictures,
those friends are more likely to be inspired to go. That is not
really propaganda; that is just regular information conveyed through
online social media that then facilitates recruitment.
122. Countering the extremist narrative is something
that must be supported both within the community and by public
authorities. The Metropolitan Police highlighted the importance
of parents and mosque leaders as well as visits to schools by
The role of Governments in countering extremist narratives is
thought to be most effective when they act as a facilitator for
other groups rather than delivering their own alternative narrative.
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue suggest that
One of the most important roles for government
is in building capacity among those best suited to act as counter-narrative
messengers and campaigners, who often lack the basic skills and
competencies to do this work effectively and at scale. This would
focus on technical, communications and strategic knowhow to ensure
they understand how to construct their messages, can develop the
kinds of products and vehicles that will be well received by an
increasingly digitally-savvy generation used to high production
values, apply smart marketing strategies and have the right networks
to generate communication economies of scale.
The EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator supported this
view noting that Governments themselves are seen as biased making
the priority creating an environment which is conducive to counter-narrative.
Both the EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator and Richard Barrett
suggested using the experiences of those who had returned from
Syria as a method of counter-narrative.
123. There are a number of civil society groups which
work to produce a counter-narrative. There are also examples of
private sector involvement in assisting the development of counter-narrative.
The Against Violent Extremism network which is made up of a number
of former extremists and survivors of terrorism who engage with
individuals and organisations that are developing counter-extremist
messages. The AVE network receives funding from private sectorthe
Gen Next Foundations and Google Ideas.
124. Google also facilitates the development of counter-narratives
through a project run by YouTube, which we visited during our
inquiry. YouTube run workshops through which it provides a variety
of free, in-kind support and services to civil society organisations.
This includes offering advice from creators with high audience
numbers, support through training on and access to production
equipment including time in certain YouTube studios. This project
was highlighted by the Immigration and Security Minister as the
sort of initiative that the Government was keen to encourage.
125. One example of the projects which has been assisted
by private sector funding is that of Abdullah-X, a short animated
mini counter-narrative graphic novel which describes a fictional
character's journey and adventures based on countering extremism
and hate. This has involved advice on the design of the content
and in-kind support to tailor the cartoon's delivery.
Abdullah-X was created by a former extremist and the most recent
Abdullah-X video discusses the desire to travel to fight in Syria
and alternative methods of helping the Syrian people. Such work
is an excellent example of work by those within the Muslim community
to counter the extremist narrative.
126. We welcome the progress made by internet
companies such as Google (who own YouTube) in the work they are
doing to promote counter narratives. We commend the work by the
creators of Abdullah-X and note the importance of peer-led education.
Given the role that social media is playing in the dissemination
of extremist messages we hope that other large multi-national
social media companies will follow suit. We note the significance
of the independence of funding for these types of project but
recognise the desperate need for more resources to be made available.
We, therefore, recommend that the Government asks the European
Union and other independent funders to prioritise resources for
community projects such as Abdullah-X.
Countering terrorist financing
127. There has been an increase in activity to counter
the financing of terrorist activity since the events of 9/11.
Despite a host of regulations having been introduced, identifying
terrorist financing is still an area of limited success. Written
evidence submitted to us suggested that this was the fault of
government departments who were drawing up requirements without
issuing guidance on they ought to be implemented, stating
banks and other financial service providers are
effectively expected to play a counter-terrorist role with almost
no meaningful assistance from the authorities.
This is further compounded by the fact that in the
UK, the responsibility for countering terrorism finance is spread
across a number of departmental departments and agencies with
no department in charge of overseeing the policy.
128. David Anderson's report on terrorist asset freezing
in 2013 found that only one person (a Syrian national) had been
designated in the period up to September 2013. He noted that designation
was not being considered in all the cases in which it could be
of value and that none of the 24 terrorists who had been convicted
in early 2013 have been designated. He suggests that
The fact that asset-freezing is administered
by a different department from other counter-terrorism powers
means however that extra effort may be required if asset-freezing
is always to be considered as an alternative to or in conjunction
with other possible disposals for those believed to be engaged
The EU's Counter-Terrorism coordinator told us that
no bank accounts had been frozen in relation to EU nationals travelling
to fight in the Syria conflict.
We have also heard suggestions that the financial information
of individuals could be used to identify foreign fighters, either
on a standalone basis or in conjunction with data from social
129. We recommend that the responsibility for
countering terrorist financing be given to the Office for Security
and Counter-Terrorism where it will be considered a higher priority.
Although it is not an area where success comes easily, cutting
off the flow of money to terrorist organisations and the identification
of foreign fighters are vital to the UK's response to the terrorist
130. There are over 350,000 charities in England
and Wales of which over 163,000 are registered with the Charities
Commission. Although the total annual income of the 163,000 registered
charities is £60 billion, just under half will have an annual
income which has less than £10,000. The Charity Commission
told us that the vast majority of charities are not at risk of
terrorist abuse but that a small minority might be at risk from
their funding being diverted for terrorist purposes or for charity
personnel using the charity as a cover for travelling overseas
or raising funds.
131. Following the death of the first British suicide
bomber in Syria, concerns were raised on the basis that he had
joined a humanitarian convoy organised by a charity in order to
travel out to Syria. On 24 February 2014 the Charities Commission
launched a regulatory alert for charities sending humanitarian
convoys to Syria, warning them that Foreign Fighters may well
be joining convoys in order to travel to Syria to fight the Assad
regime. In a press
interview, the Charity Commission's head of investigations and
enforcement said more than a fifth of its 48 current terror investigations
now relate to Syria.
However, in the Commission's written evidence, it is highlighted
The Commission is not a prosecuting authority
and does not conduct criminal investigations. Where there are
concerns about suspected terrorist abuse connected to a charity,
the Commission will always liaise with and work closely with the
police and the Security Service as terrorist activity is a criminal
132. The Henry Jackson Society criticised the Charity
Commission for its lack of effectiveness in countering terrorist
abuse of charities.
The Charity Commission has demonstrated limited
abilities to tackle fundraising by U.K.-based charities for terrorist
purposes, and, more broadly, to vet or disqualify unsuitable charitable
trustees by virtue of their association with terrorism.
The Society suggested that lack of resources was
a significant issue for the commission. Professor Clive Walker
suggested that the system could be improved by instituting a financial
investigation approach which
should primarily be conducted by a formal police
body. The roles left for the Charity Commission would be as standard-setter,
as standard-monitor (with early alerts back to the police financial
investigators), and as standard-applier (with police advice).
Professor Walker suggests that had such an investigatory
system existed in the past then it could have improved provision
of information about terrorist networks and reduced the facilitation
of militancy without diverting money from worthy causes. We note
that our sister committee, the Public Accounts Committee made
a recommendation earlier this year needed to respond more quickly
in relations to concerns around individual charities.
In its formal response the Charity Commission emphasised that
it needed both more resources and stronger legal powers in order
to prevent and tackle abuse and mismanagement.
133. There have also been concerns raised around
the impact that regulations aimed at countering terrorist financing
have on charities trying to move funds in to areas of conflict.
The Charity Finance Group told us that a number of international
charities are finding it increasingly challenging as banks become
overly risk-averse. The examples given were the withdrawal of
banking facilities from money service businesses in Somalia and
the inability to transfer funds in to Syria. It emphasised the
role that charities play in countering terrorism.
Many international charities have operations
that provide humanitarian assistance, healthcare, outreach and
infrastructure building-all of these activities support and the
stabilising and development of regions, which in turn contributes
to restricting the growth of terrorist activity abroad. Civil
society plays a key-albeit secondary - role in supporting counter-terrorism
efforts and this consideration should be the starting point when
developing policy to prevent the abuse of charities by terrorist
The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation
has announced that he is intending to examine this subject over
the next year following UN recommendation that more work needed
to be done to reconcile counter-terrorism measures and humanitarian
134. We are deeply concerned with the potential
for 'bogus' charities to dupe members of the public into raising
funds which are eventually used to support terrorist activity.
We recommend that the Charity Commission be granted extra resources
and stronger legal powers to counter the abuse of charities by
terrorists. We also recommend that the Charity Commission be able
to undertake unannounced inspections in order to audit their accounts.
135. We welcome the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism
Legislation's inquiry in to the impact of counter-terrorism legislation
on charities and recommend that it be expanded to look at the
scale of abuse of charitable status to support terrorist actions.
We recommend that he assess the response to such abuse and suggest
changes which will improve the ability of the authorities to tackle
terrorist financing whilst ensuring that law-abiding charities
can continue their vital work.
The proposal to move counter
terrorism to the National Crime Agency
136. The national Police CT Network comprises of
· the Counter-Terrorism Command (SO15) within
the Metropolitan Police;
· four Counter-Terrorism Units (CTUs) in
the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Thames
· Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Units (CTIUs)
in the East Midlands, South West and Eastern regions, and Wales
137. The Metropolitan Police's SO15 Counter Terrorism
Command was created in 2006, taking over the roles and responsibilities
of the Anti-Terrorist Branch and Special Branch. It is designated
to protect London and the UK from the threat of terrorism. Counter
Terrorism Command is responsible for:
· bringing to justice those engaged in terrorist,
domestic extremist and related offences;
· providing a proactive and reactive response
to terrorist, domestic extremist and related offences, including
the prevention and disruption of terrorist activity;
· supporting the National Co-ordinator of
Terrorist Investigations outside London;
· gathering and exploiting intelligence
on terrorism and extremism in London;
· assessing, analysing and developing intelligence
to drive operational activity;
· engage in partnerships with London's communities
in order to understand their concerns and to provide reassurance
and support where needed;
· providing an explosive ordnance disposal
and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear capability
· assist the British Security Service and
Secret Intelligence Service in fulfilling their statutory roles;
· to be the police single point of contact
for international partners in counter-terrorism matters;
· assisting in the protection of British
interests overseas and the investigation of attacks against those
The regional Counter-Terrorism Units have been set
up in the past few years and are resourced by 'lead' police forces.
Their role includes the gathering of intelligence and evidence
to help prevent, disrupt and prosecute terrorist activities.
138. Following the proposed creation of the National
Crime Agency, there were suggestions that the counter-terrorism
policing could move from the Metropolitan Police in to the NCA.
On 8 June 2011, the Government published The National Crime
Agency: A plan for the creation of a national crime-fighting capability,
which expanded on the information about the National Crime
Agency included in Policing in the 21st Century.
The plan stated that there would be four distinct commands
within the National Crime Agency:
· Organised Crime
· Border Policing
· Economic Crime
· Child Exploitation and Online Protection
The plan did not rule out the possibility that counter-terrorism
could be one of the National Crime Agency's responsibilities at
some point in the future:
Counter-terrorism policing already has effective
national structures. The Government is considering how to ensure
these strengths are maintained and enhanced alongside the rest
of its new approach to fighting crime. However, no wholesale review
of the current counter-terrorism policing structures will be undertaken
until after the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and the
establishment of the NCA.
In their written evidence to this inquiry, the Home
Office did not elaborate further upon their intentions.
The NCA will lead work on serious, organised
and complex crime, including cyber crime and border security.
Once the agency is up and running the Government will consider
what - if any - role, it should play in respect of CT. Until then,
the NCA will work with the Police CT Network on issues of common
139. We note that the Metropolitan Police believe
that in order to maintain the link between neighbourhood policing
and counter-terrorism policing, the police counter-terrorism network
should not be moved to the NCA. Their written evidence to this
inquiry emphasised the prevention and detection work carried out
by front line policing where the neighbourhood officer's role
is the ability to build relationships, confidence and trust. It
is hoped that such a relationship will encourage greater public
vigilance, responsiveness and passing of intelligence. It is also
noted that front line policing that will be the first to respond
to a terrorist attack where they will act to preserve life, safety
and evidence. It is that response which sets the tone for the
investigation and wider community confidence.
In this opinion, they are supported by David Anderson QC who told
the Committee that
We have a system that, although not ideal, does
at least work pretty well and it has one priceless benefit that
one does not see to the same extent in a lot of other countries,
which is a pretty good operational relationship between police
and intelligence. At the other end you have another benefit. You
saw, for example, the investigation of the murder of Mohammed
Saleem in Birmingham earlier this year. That was a terrorism investigation
but what you saw there was specialist terrorist police working
very well with local police. By the end it was a question of knocking
on doors and say, "Have you seen this man?" Again, the
fact that the unit was embedded in the local community and was
part of a local force, I think, had some usefulness.
140. Both Charles Farr
and Professor Sir David Omand highlighted the effectiveness of
the relationship between the police, the security and intelligence
agencies and the Crown Prosecution Service. However Professor
Sir David Omand also noted that
the present arrangements involving the Security
Service and the Met and the other police services in England and
Wales and Scotland are not the only possible ones, nor necessarily
the most economical. But they have evolved under fire and I would
be very cautious about seeking to replace them with a theoretical
structure that might look tidier on paper, such as giving the
lead to the NCA, until we have seen both a significant diminution
in the threat and an NCA that has established itself firmly as
being on the top of its game in relation to serious organised
141. The National Crime Agency was established
as a national mechanism as part of the changing landscape of policing.
Like all new organisations, it is still seeking to establish a
strong identity and its own remit. For instance, we remain concerned
that the NCA does not have full operational capacity in Northern
Ireland. The Metropolitan Police have a wide remit which has many
complexities and the current difficulties faced by the organisation
lead us to believe that the responsibility for counter-terrorism
ought to be moved to the NCA in order to allow the Met to focus
on the basics of policing London. The work to transfer the command
ought to begin immediately with a view to a full transfer of responsibility
for counter-terrorism operations taking place, for example within
five years after the NCA became operational, in 2018. When this
takes place, it should finally complete the jigsaw of the new
landscape of policing.
Partnership in the fight against
142. Although the counter-terrorism command and the
security service are pivotal in the fight against terrorism, others
also play a role. In 2012, a traffic police officer impounded
a car which didn't have insurance which led to a discovery of
weapons. The weapons (and a homemade bomb) were to have been used
against supporters of the EDL at a rally in Dewsbury. In 2007,
a plot to blow up the Tiger Tiger nightclub in London was discovered
when Ambulance staff reported a suspicious vehicle to Police.
The vehicle was discovered to contain a bomb which was defused.
143. During the visit to Kenya undertaken as part
of this inquiry, we visited the site of the Westgate shopping
centre where terrorists killed scores of people. The devastation
caused by the acts of terrorism that day highlight the need for
vigilance on the part of the public and private enterprise. Terrorists
can strike anywhere and previous terrorist plots in the UK have
focused on shopping centres (including planned attacks on Bluewater
and the Trafford Centre). The National Counter Terrorism Security
Office has produced Counter Terrorism Protective Security Advice
for Shopping Centres.
However, as the British Council of Shopping Centres notes
Security of shopping centres is not just about
conducting risk assessments and installing the latest equipment.
The way in which operators are trained, their use of equipment
and the general environment in which this equipment is used, will
all have a significant impact on the overall performance of the
Following the Westgate attack, the British Council
of Shopping Centres issued up to date guidance on firearms attacks
in shopping centres, noting the importance of developing and testing
a Response Plan.
144. Both members of the public and those in private
enterprises have to ensure that vigilance is constant, this is
especially important in areas where crowds of people congregate.
Those in charge of areas visited by high numbers of people (such
as shopping centres) must ensure that they have adequate security,
surveillance and response plans. Ensuring public safety cannot
be the sole purview of the counter-terrorism command and the security
service, it is a responsibility in which all UK citizens and companies
take a share. We note that the British Council of Shopping Centres
have updated their guidance following the Westgate attack. We
recommend that all police forces ensure that local shopping centres
have received this guidance and put in place and test a Response
81 Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, The
Terrorism Acts in 2012, July 2013, p46 Back
Ibid., p34 Back
Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, The Terrorism Acts
in 2012, July 2013, p121 Back
Q122; CTE0018 Back
HC Deb, 25 Apr 2013: Col 68WS Back
HC Deb, 25 Apr 2013: Col 68WS Back
HC Deb, 30 Jan 2014: Col 1026 Back
HC Deb, 11 Feb 2014: Col 257WH Back
HL Deb, 7 Apr 2014: Col 1167 Back
The Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011,
which repealed in its entirety the Prevention of Terrorism Act
Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures in 2012, First
Report of The Independent Reviewer on the Operation of the Terrorism
Prevention And Investigation Measures Act 2011 (March 2013) (hereafter,
"TPIMs report 2012"), p 19 Back
Ibid., p2 Back
Ibid., p19-20 Back
TPIMs report 2012, p53 Back
TPIMs Report 2012, p4 Back
TPIMs report 2012, p83 Back
Prevent is one of the four elements of CONTEST, the government's
counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists
or supporting terrorism. See Nineteenth Report from the Home Affairs
Committee of Session 2010-12, Roots of violent radicalisation
(HC 1446) Back
TPIMs report 2012, p95 Back
TPIMs report 2012, p53-54 Back
Home Affairs Committee, Session 2010-12, Roots of violent radicalisation
(HC 1446), para 64 Back
TPIMs report 2012, p54 Back
Joint Committee on Human Rights, Tenth Report of Session 2013-14,
Post-Legislative Scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011,
HC 1014, para 78 Back
Home Affairs Committee, The work of the Home Secretary,
Home Affairs Committee, Session 2010-12, Roots of violent radicalisation,
HC 1446, para 33 Back
Q487; 517 Back
Institute of Strategic Dialogue, Review of programs to counter
narratives of violent extremism, 2013, p26 Back
Q518; 692 Back
Institute of Strategic Dialogue, Review of programs to counter
narratives of violent extremism, 2013, p20 Back
Institute of Strategic Dialogue, Review of programs to counter
narratives of violent extremism, 2013, p20 Back
Public Accounts Committee, Forty-second Report of Session 2013-14,
The Charity Commission, HC 792, p5 Back
Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010, Independent Reviewer's Annual Report,
December 2013, p25 Back