LAWS to counter the threat posed by the return of radicalised Britons fighting for the Islamic State (IS) could be ready within months, the Home Secretary has said.
Conservative MP Theresa May said there could be up to 500 people who have travelled from Britain to join IS militants as they establish a foothold in Syria and Iraq.
New legislation could be ready by the end of November, she said.
“What we know is that Syria is proving to be a bigger draw for people coming from the UK than any other area. The concept of people going and fighting abroad is not a new one. People have gone to Somalia, to FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan’s tribal regions] and so on, but it’s the numbers going to Syria that makes this different,” said May.
“I would expect to be able to bring legislation before the end of November.
“We’re still looking at what action can be taken in relation to the disruption of those returning to the UK.”
Earlier this month, May told the House of Commons new powers included prosecuting Britons involved in terrorism abroad in UK courts. “So people who insist on travelling to fight in Syria and Iraq will be investigated by the police and security services.”
“We’ve already taken tough action on rules governing the use of the royal prerogative,” said May.
“The Serious Crime Bill which is in another place [the House of Lords] will close a gap in our powers to ensure that any British national who prepares or trains for terrorism abroad can be prosecuted in this country as if they’d carried out those activities in the UK.”