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Britain unveils powers to strip suspected Islamist fighters of passports

Monday, September 01, 2014 - 01:56

PM Cameron announced plans to strip suspected Islamist militants of passports temporarily, to combat the threat posed by radicalized Britons returning from Syria and Iraq. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Scenes from the front lines in Syria. Amateur video which can not be independently verified by Reuters shows rebel forces engaged in fierce fighting in suburban Damascus. Forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad range from the western supported Free Syrian army to the Islamic State. An IS video released last month, purporting to show a man with a London accent man beheading a U.S. journalist, is now raising concerns that Britons fighting in the region could return and launch attacks on British soil. On Monday Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to strip suspected Islamist militants of their passports temporarily, to combat the threat posed by radicalized Britons returning from Syria and Iraq.' (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "It is abhorrent that people that declare their allegiance elsewhere are able to return to the United Kingdom and pose a threat to our national security. He also announced plans to expand police powers to address security concerns. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "The Home Secretary already has the discretion to issue, revoke and refuse passports under the royal prerogative if there is reason to believe that people are planning to take part in terrorist related activity. But when police suspect a traveler at the border, they are currently not able to apply for the royal prerogative and so only have limited stop and search powers. So we will introduce specific and targeted legislation to fill this gap" Officials estimate at least 500 Britons have traveled to Syria or Iraq. London's police believes some 250 have since returned.

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Britain unveils powers to strip suspected Islamist fighters of passports

Monday, September 01, 2014 - 01:56