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    10 Years in Prison for Brits Travelling to Terrorism Hotspots Under New Law

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    The UK Home Office has suggested that as the threat of terrorism evolves, so will the government's response - with the new legislation set to disrupt attacks and terror plots early on.

    The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 came into force on 12 April, extending extra-territorial jurisdiction for a number of terrorism offences, including inviting support for a proscribed organisation and making or possessing explosives for the purposes of carrying out an act of terrorism.

    Among its provisions was also a new measure to deter activity and threat coming from the so-called foreign fighters.

    The Home Secretary can designate an area, pending parliament's approval, in order to use the power to criminalise travelling to a set location. An individual found to have entered or remained in a designated area could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

    "These new laws give the police the powers they need to disrupt terrorist plots earlier and ensure that those who seek to do us harm face just punishment. As we saw in the deadly attacks in London and Manchester in 2017, the threat from terrorism continues to evolve and so must our response, which is why these vital new measures have been introduced," Sajid Javid said.

    Once identified, the "designated areas" list of terror hotspots, could include Syria, where many British citizens have travelled in the past years to join Daesh fighters. Most recently examples, highlighted by the media, were that of British Daesh bride Shamima Begum and an NHS doctor, suspected of ties to Daesh, Muhammad Saqib Raza.

    FILE PHOTO: Renu Begum, sister of teenage British girl Shamima Begum, holds a photo of her sister as she makes an appeal for her to return home at Scotland Yard, in London, Britain February 22, 2015.
    © REUTERS / Laura Lean/Pool/File Photo
    FILE PHOTO: Renu Begum, sister of teenage British girl Shamima Begum, holds a photo of her sister as she makes an appeal for her to return home at Scotland Yard, in London, Britain February 22, 2015.

    Exemptions to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 have included protection of individual who have a legitimate reason for being in a designated area or conducting research online, such as journalists.

    In 2017, the United Kingdom suffered five terrorist attacks in Westminster, the Manchester Arena, London Bridge, Finsbury Park and Parsons Green, with 36 people losing their lives and dozens injured. 

    Under the new legislation, the Home Office will attempt to remedy the mistakes of the past, outlined by the 2018 Intelligence and Security Committee report. According to the officials, the perpetrator of the Manchester Arena bombing, Salman Abedi had been flagged for review, but MI5's systems were too slow to review him, which allowed the terrorist to execute the attack on 22 May 2017. 

    READ MORE: MI5 Made Mistakes Ahead of Manchester Bombing — Report

    Related:

    MI5 Made Mistakes Ahead of Manchester Bombing - Report
    Ex Irish Air Corps Flight Attendant Turned 'Daesh Bride' Pleads for Return
    Terror in the Dis-United Kingdom
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    legislation, terrorism, UK Home Office, United Kingdom
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