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UK Conservatives Vow to Toughen Counter-Terrorism Measures: UK Home Secretary

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The United Kingdom’s Conservatives are going to considerably tighten up national security legislation to fight terrorism in case they win the 2015 election, as follows from the speech made by UK Home Secretary Theresa May at the Conservative Party’s conference held in Birmingham on Tuesday.

LONDON, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - The United Kingdom’s Conservatives are going to considerably tighten up national security legislation to fight terrorism in case they win the 2015 election, as follows from the speech made by UK Home Secretary Theresa May at the Conservative Party’s conference held in Birmingham on Tuesday.

“In the case of ISIL [the Islamic State terrorist group, IS], the danger is clear. They have already murdered British and American citizens in the most brutal and cowardly manner possible … We must not flinch. We must not shy away from our responsibility … While we still have the chance, we must act to destroy ISIL,” May said.

She underscored the importance of the threat by arguing that the world could see the first-ever terrorist country, which could potentially obtain chemical and even nuclear weapons, should the IS succeed.

The home secretary stressed the need to change the security legislation in order to fight terrorism threat more efficiently.

May said that over the last three months London police had to drop some 12 cases due to the fact, that communications data on the suspects was unavailable under the existing laws.

The official blamed the Liberal Democrats for “torpedoing” the Draft Communications Data Bill back in 2012, branding the move “outrageously irresponsible”.

The 2012 bill, dubbed “Snooper’s Charter” by British media, implied that not only emails and telephone calls, but also other data, particularly, from social networks, must be logged and kept for 12 months by communication providers. However, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, has publicly denounced the bill.

The Conservatives are to launch attempts to toughen security measures as early as in November, by introducing a counter-terrorism bill, Home Secretary May said.

The bill, first revealed in September, will give the law enforcement new powers to seize passports of terrorism suspects. Theresa May has said she had authorized the removing of the passports of some 25 British nationals willing to travel to Syria. She also mentioned that some 500 Britons are currently fighting against government forces in Syria and Iraq.

The UK Home Office is to exercise control over the implementation of the new security strategy, the official stated.

The IS terrorist group has become active and Syria and launched offensive on Iraq in 2014, proclaiming an Islamic caliphate on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria in June. The extremists are particularly notorious for releasing beheadings videos, carried out in response to the West’s counter-terrorism action. In particular, the IS has published the footages showing the executions of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and a British aid worker David Cawthorne. Another UK journalist John Cantlie is currently held captive by the extremists.

In August, Washington launched airstrikes against the IS targets in Iraq and extended them to Syria last week. US Arab allies and France have already taken part in attacks, with the UK Royal Air Force reportedly joining the airstrikes earlier on Tuesday.

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