New anti-terror plans could see terror suspects sent to Norfolk and Suffolk again

Prime Minister David Cameron answers questions at a news conference in Downing Street, central London. Prime Minister David Cameron answers questions at a news conference in Downing Street, central London.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
9:43 AM

A scheme which has previously seen terror suspects sent to Norfolk and Suffolk could return under new powers announced by the prime minister.

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Past cases

The identity and location of most terror suspects given control orders was protected, but it did subsequently emerge that Norwich and Ipswich had been used for relocation.

It was revealed in a High Court case that a suspect, known as BG, who had twice travelled to Pakistan in 2008, was exiled to Norwich from Crawley.

He was moved to Norwich under a Home Office Control Order in 2009. In a High Court appeal, which the suspect lost, his barrister argued that the order forcing him away from his family and friends in Crawley was “unnecessary”.

While another Iraqi terror suspect, known as AH, was forced to live under a 14-hour-a-day curfew in a Norwich

flat, while wearing a tag, between August 2006 and June 2009.

While terror suspect Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, who disappeared after fleeing a mosque in a burka, lived near Ipswich for several weeks.

He allegedly breached a Home Office control order on several occasions while he was in the area during 2011.

The suspect was believed to have close links to al-Shabab, the Somali insurgent group that raided Nairobi’s

Westgate shopping mall in September.

Changes to bolster terrorism prevention and investigation are being weighed up after the UK terror threat level was raised to “severe” in response to Islamic State activity.

At least three terror suspects were sent to Norwich and Ipswich under control order powers brought in by the last Labour government, but the relocation powers were abolished in 2012 amid criticism that they were unfair.

Former Labour cabinet minister Hazel Blears, who was responsible for counter terrorism under Labour, called for the powers to be brought back, and said extremists, based in big cities like London, should again be relocated to places like Norwich and Ipswich to break up the groups.

Although she said that the two East Anglian settlements were not singled out and terror suspects had been sent to other parts of the country, she said that “just a handful” had been relocated.

In a statement in the House of Commons yesterday Mr Cameron said it was clear “targeted and discretionary” powers were needed.

He said: “We will introduce new powers to add to our existing terrorism prevention and investigation measures including stronger locational constraints on suspects under terrorism prevention and investigation measures (Tpims) either through enhanced use of exclusions zones or through relocation powers.”

“We are clear in principle that what we need is a targeted discretionary power to allow us to exclude British nationals from the UK and we’ll work proposals on this basis with our agencies in line with our international obligations and discuss the details on a cross-party basis.”

Police will also be given temporary powers to seize passports at UK borders of Britons they suspect are travelling abroad to fight with terror groups.

The Prime Minister also said the Government would “work up plans” for discretionary powers to exclude British nationals from the UK, telling MPs it was “abhorrent” that British citizens who pledge allegiance elsewhere were able to return to the UK and pose a threat to national security.

Norwich MP Simon Wright said there would not be a return to Labour’s authoritarian control orders, which “risked creating community tensions as families were torn apart through forced relocation to other parts of the UK”.

“However, the government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation has highlighted the case for new powers to disrupt networks. It is right therefore to consider whether there are circumstances where excluding particular people with Tpims from specific areas could be a proportionate means of achieving this,” he said.

Labour candidate for Norwich North Jessica Asato said: “They key thing about control orders is that it allowed terrorists to be relocated. The reason it is important is because the suspect we had under surveillance tended to be people who organised and facilitate terrorist activities. Once you take them from their network, it tends to ameliorate the wider risks to society.”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said control orders had not been acceptable in their previous form.

“It is a very tricky area of law, and one that people are particularly concerned about, not only those who are concerned about liberties, which are important in this country, but also those host communities.”

14 comments

  • Move people that cost you thousands a year to house to a part of the country that is a lot cheaper and at the same time ensure your mates earn a packet (from state funds) by developing the land they own. You need to think like a politician at time

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    JohnnyH

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Its not often that Ipswich & Norwich have common interest. However, the problem with these hare-brained ideas made by central government is that Greater Ipswich or Norwich people have little, to no clout, to question or challenge them. Here in Ipswich we are represented and administered by one and a half MPs, one county council (with no Ipswich dwellers on its cabinet), one borough council (with limited powers), two district councils (with no vested interest except in collecting Greater Ipswich generated local taxes). The irony is that our only line of defence may turn out to be a Police Crime Commissioner elected with an endorsement of around 5% of the Suffolk electorate.

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    Mark Ling

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Typical politicians solution: move the problem somewhere else. It is the root causes that need to be addressed.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Benefits and free housing whilst plotting our downfall UKIP !

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    spark

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • They will get a warm welcome at city hall housing office no doubt

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    spark

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • i knew it wouldnt be long before the labour troll larson appeared back on the scene . Why dont you go and support your labour mates in rotherham . They seem to be in a bit of trouble at the moment

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • What's it got to do with the Salford bit part actress Ms Blears.Scroby Sands would be too good for this lot of traitors.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    PaulH

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • it is sickening that these people are protected by the libdems and labour . These two parties care more about the terror suspects human rights than the rights of the british people

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • this is a libdem idea .. Keep the maniacs in our country and put us all at risk. If the libdems had a brain they would be dangerous . Let them leave and stop them coming back .These people are protected by the human rights act which is supported by the libdems and labour

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • Its not often that Ipswich & Norwich have common interest. However, the problem with these hare-brained ideas made by central government is that Greater Ipswich or Norwich people have little, to no clout, to question or challenge them. Here in Ipswich we are represented and administered by one and a half MPs, one county council (with no Ipswich dwellers on its cabinet), one borough council (with limited powers), two district councils (with no vested interest except in collecting Greater Ipswich generated local taxes). The irony is that our only line of defence may turn out to be a Police Crime Commissioner elected with an endorsement of around 5% of the Suffolk electorate.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • Thank her Peter Watson thats one way to spin it. I think Salford sounds good to me though

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    PaulH

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • The end result of publicly naming Norwich and Ipswich will inevitably mean these 2 fine locations will not ever be used again.Ms Blears was being very naughty in revealing this but we have good reason to thank her.We have done our bit already in pursuit of the national security interest.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • " Once you take them from their network, it tends to ameliorate the wider risks to society".Ameliorate means to improve a bad situation to make it better. Politicians like Labour candidate Ms Asato like to use this word when they should use the word or term alleviate especially in this context of moving a terrorist suspect to a region with less criminal activity.By the way perhaps she would like them to move next door to her.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    PaulH

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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