17 September 2015

Counter-extremism bill could play into terrorists' hands, says watchdog

David Cameron’s counter-extremism bill, which will ban non-violent extremists, risks provoking a backlash in Britain’s Muslim communities and playing into the hands of terrorist recruiters, a government watchdog has warned.

David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism laws, said the legislation to counter extremist ideology also risks legitimising state scrutiny of – and citizens informing on – the political activities of large numbers of law-abiding people.

His warning on Thursday comes as the prime minister’s counter-extremism taskforce meets in Downing Street and the House of Lords prepares to vote on rules banning extremist speakers from university campuses.

The counter-extremism bill, which is due to be published later this year, is aimed at “suppressing extremist activity”. It will include proposals for banning orders to outlaw extremist organisations, extremist disruption orders to restrict the activities of individuals, and closure orders to shut down premises used by extremists. [The Guardian] Read more