May 26, 2017

HORSE, BARN DOOR: After Manchester Attack, Britain Looks at New Ways to Curb Extremism.

As TIME reported this week, experts believe Britain is unlikely to strengthen its anti-terrorism legislation in the wake of the Manchester attack. David Anderson, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said police and intelligence agencies are broadly happy with the extremely robust laws they have in place – which Anderson says are “very strong by international standards.” Prime Minister Theresa May promised there would be no “knee-jerk style” crackdown on security. The current “critical” threat level is expected to be a temporary measure.

But if the Conservative Party wins the June 8 election, it could decide to renew its legal attempts to make extremism an offense. In its manifesto is a promise to create a “Commission for Countering Extremism” that would help the government “consider what new criminal offenses might need to be created, and what new aggravated offenses might need to be established to defeat the extremists.”

This, says Anderson, could lead to a “watered-down version” of a controversial Counter-Extremism Bill introduced by May when she was Home Secretary, the government minister who oversees national security. The bill was introduced in 2015 in response to the hundreds of British nationals flocking to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS, but never became law.

Given than up to eight known wolves — some going back as far as five years — may have been involved in the Manchester attack, simple follow through might go a long way towards stopping the next bombing.

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