BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

Should anti-terrorism laws be reviewed?

10:51 UK time, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Anti-terrorism laws passed since 11 September 2001 should be reviewed to see if they are still required, Parliament's joint committee on human rights has said. Are the laws still necessary?

They questioned whether ministers could legitimately argue, nine years on, that a "public emergency threatening the life of the nation" remained.

It said the government should drop entirely its plan to extend the period terrorism suspects can be held without charge from 28 to 42 days.

The government has said the threat from terrorism remains "real and serious".

Do you feel safer since the laws were introduced? Should the laws be reformed? If so how would you change them? Do you agree with the government about the threat from terrorism?

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    The threat to our Nation from terrorism will always be there until we cease from creating mischief abroad i.e. embroiled in wars which have no direct bearing to our security.

  • Comment number 2.

    I don't feel safer since the laws were introduced. If anything, I feel more vulnerable to an attack from the state, not terrorists!

    Anti-terrorism laws are being abused by the Labour party to try and stifle unwanted opposition. Also, I know of people who have been stopped and searched under anti-terrorism law, for no other reason than to give the impression that the police are treating everybody equally.

    How about this for an anti-terrorism law? Britian must stop sticking its nose into other countries' business.

  • Comment number 3.

    It really disturbs me to hear adverts on the radio for the Anti-Terrorist Hotline...

    'Does your neighbour have his curtains closed all day?'
    'Is someone on your road buying large amount of fertilizer'

    We are already living in a nation that the mass media & the government have promoted a climate of fear within. Of course, fearful people are easier to govern, manipulate.

    Obviously we need to be diligent. But adverts on the radio telling me to 'rat' on my neighbours because the curtains are closed in the day is going to far..

  • Comment number 4.

    As a UK Muslim I accept that it is inevitable my community will be targetted and scrutinised more than other communities, I have no problem with this, although I do believe a minority of the police can be heavy-handed. However I am against 42 days of detention because it undermines the rule of law and the principle of habeas corpus. More people were killed by the IRA and by the Nazis during the Blitz but we never compromised on habeas corpus. I think the government is very cynical on this issue and just wants to appear tough to please the tabloids. There are many other ways in which New Labour has undermined basic freedoms. Ordinary people don't realise that in the end such measures will affect them too.

  • Comment number 5.

    Growing up in the 70's during the IRA bombing campaigns, we didn't have these anti terrorist laws which infringed on peoples rights. I fear my government more than I fear any terrorist.

  • Comment number 6.

    Once you give politicians and coppers power they are loathe to give it up. Have a look at how coppers have used the anti -terror legislation.
    Democratic peaceful protesters have been charged with terrorism, green activists have been charged with terrorism. talking back to some thick, rude copper will soon be a charge under the Terrorism Act.
    Being black, or Asian in itself is already a terrorist act.
    You cannot trust them to behave decently, so reveiwing the Act should always be on the cards

  • Comment number 7.

    Most of the paranoid nonsense that has been foisted upon us by our Socialist political masters over the last decade needs reversing or changing. For example imprisonment without trial being the cheap alternative to expensive surveillance being one of many un-British things that has been foisted on our society without regard to its impact on our National character.

  • Comment number 8.

    Were they ever necessary, save as a 'We must be seen to be doing something' knee-jerk response by politicians?

    Existing laws already make it clear that the use of violence is unacceptable - it does not matter whether you are setting a bomb because of your political/religious beliefs or for any other reason, the act of intending to endanger life with your explosives (let alone doing so) is quite sufficient to warrant a gaol sentence upon conviction.

    The continued erosion of civil liberty, a leit motif of the current government who no doubt saw a wonderful opportunity in the climate of fear they were creating, is completely unjustified and has done nothing to protect the citizens of this country, serving only to give terrorists a victory without having to go to the trouble of committing an act of terrorism.

    The only 'anti-terror' law we need is the establishment of an honour equivalent to the Spanish 'Real Orden de Reconocimiento Civil a las Víctimas del Terrorismo' (Royal Order for Civil Recognition of the Victims of Terrorism) to make the point that our one concern is those whose lives are affected or ended by terrorism, for terrorism is a war of propaganda even more than one of bombs. We need no special 'anti-terror' laws, criminal law is quite satisfactory for dealing with criminal acts committed in the name of terrorist ideals.

    (The media can help as well, no more reporting of which organisation has 'claimed responsibility' for any outrage, nor speaking of 'terrorism' instead of criminal acts.)

  • Comment number 9.

    I really doubt that any of anti-terrorism laws actually increased the safety of the UK citizens which would have not been possible under previous existing laws. These laws can be abused and only corrode our fundamental rights and freedom.

  • Comment number 10.

    The main reason we need specialist ant-terrorist laws is because we invade other countries and try to force "regime change" on others.

    The days of the Empire are long gone. What is needed is an urgent review of foreign policy and the "war on terror". Once we start concentrating on out own country, it will be a safer place then we can reduce anti-terror laws and the associated costs.

  • Comment number 11.

    There have been more Laws passed under this Government than at any other time in our history. The Laws have been designed to limit our freedom and increase New Labours hold over the population. Stop immigration and these Laws will not be needed.

  • Comment number 12.

    You must be joking. Anti terrorism laws have unfortunately become an essential part of life in Britain.
    Civil Rights campaigners worry far too much about the individual and not nearly enough about the public in general.
    I feel much safer knowing that procedures are in place which will, hopefully, prevent a terrorist attack.
    However, if our government had not placed us in a position where we are so universally hated maybe we wouldn't be under threat in the first place.
    Even a non guilty suspect who is held while they are investigated must surely see that these measures are essential for the common good.

  • Comment number 13.

    Of course they should be reviewed, theses powers have been consistently abused by all to whom they've been granted.

    From councils using anti-terror laws to spy on tennants, or to make sure people have'nt lied about their catchment area, from the police preventing tourists from photographing landmarks and destroying existing footage.

    The only question is whether any future government will have the integrity to repeal these laws which give government institutions such hugely intrusive & wide ranging powers.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think they should colour-code the various levels of the Terror Alerts; pink for a quiet week, purple for "You're All Going To Die Shortly" and so forth. I think the public might take them more seriously then - I know I would. Perhaps they should seek the advice of Gok Wan, To find out which clours are most aesthetically pleasing.

  • Comment number 15.

    Of course they should. They were largley panic measures some of which might have been/be effective. But since Jaqui Smith was a prime mover behind these laws, reacting emotionally rather than practically, it's probably time to redraw them.

    If nothing else, they've meant you're guilty until proved innocent, hence the large numbers of amateur photographers arrested; and they gave Councils more powers than the police: able to launch covert operations without so much as a by-your-leave on the basis that you might be committing an offence against the by-laws some time in the future.

  • Comment number 16.

    Such laws,which are introduced to deal with a contemporary issue, should have a sunset clause , retiring or repealing them automatically and requiring up to date justification for their renewal.

  • Comment number 17.

    Im a British born indian so im more scared of being shot 7 times in the head on the way to work, or being harrassed by any one of the 2m+ BNP voters and white extremists who seem to getting a lenient ride even if caught with bomb making equipment and terrorist manuals! seems the terror laws are there to help the ever increasing extremely racist police do the BNP's, combat 18, UK KKK's bidding! White racist exterrmism is much more organised and prevalent than any muslim extremismin this country, its just the laws are designed to try to prosecute muslims and allow BNP bombers free speech and the benefit of the doubt! well especially when those police beleive the same as the supremecists! just liek the fact racism is not seen as a punishable crime until the black or asians retaliate, what do you expect them to do when they have no police protection, fact Oldham ahs had far right police for over 2 decades, and resulted in most asians and blacks not calling police when attacked, which also distorts the figures.

  • Comment number 18.

    Perhaps a global campaign that stands up to terorism and makes terrorist organisations aware that speaking, arguing and standing up and being heard is a much more effective way of showing displeasure at anything.

    If everybody around the world made it quite clear that terrorist activity will not change anything, it would stop.

    Posters on trains and buses, billboards, TV adverts, all aimed directly at known terrorist organisations saying 'we don't care what you do, it won't work'

    Every bomb that is dropped fuels terrorism and gives them more reasons to fight. Every time the government holds a suspect for an extended period of time, they get another reason to attack.

    The law needs to be changed

  • Comment number 19.

    All laws curtailing freedom of association, expression, and (by clear inference) free thinking should automatically get Parliamenatry scrutiny (permanent commitee; periodic free debate every 2 or 3 years).I feel slightly safer from some attacks, but more exposed to others - by, for example, policemen insisting they have a right to manhandle my camera should I catch them in a compromising moment Power so great leads to government vs people, and the temptation (given to here) to frighten people into meek submission with threats. The odd thing is that this never works for all, but is always tried.

  • Comment number 20.

    Absolutely. There is no reason that laws need to be duplicated and any attempt at committing a terrorist offence is in itself a criminal offence uder the criminal attempts act. We already have older laws about causing explosions and we never had such an intrusion even when we were up against the IRA.This is an area where we can cut back billions in wasted costs. Lets put it like this, what if the 9/11 disaster had been the result of a fire and design faults rather than two planes? We would be prosecuting the Architects- but would we be endlessley queueing at airports for pointless searches? It is politicians constantly banging the drum of terrorism that is keeping the issue alive,combined with the money to be earned by the security industry at our expense.

  • Comment number 21.

    I think they do need reviewing but with 2 things in mind:

    Certain over the line situations have occured where the police have overstepped their bounds and this does need addressing as it is used as ammunition by terrorists to recruit.

    A BBC program about terrorist attacks in the UK showed an education program where muslim adults are asked to allocate police resources to a barely ficticious report of a bomber. In most occasions the students will take a softly softly approach to deal with the suspected threat of a terrorist. They are then asked to explain their actions when the opperation has failed as to what the police had done and why. This demonstrates that the community must help to stop terrorists and that a soft approach will get people killed and is the equivilent of doing nothing.

    A balance must be met but we cannot relax yet and we cannot punish the good people either.

  • Comment number 22.

    The threat to our nation and our way of life from terrorism is negligible compared with the threat to our nation and our way of life from an authoritarian government whose solution to everything is to introduce ever more draconian powers for the state.

  • Comment number 23.

    1. At 11:09am on 25 Mar 2010, ian cheese wrote:
    The threat to our Nation from terrorism will always be there until we cease from creating mischief abroad i.e. embroiled in wars which have no direct bearing to our security.

    So why was an Al Qu'eda cell arrested in Leicester in 1999? 9/11 PRE-DATED Iraq and Afghanistan. More to the point we have plenty of domestic terrorists who's actions have nothing to do with our activities abroad. White supremacists like Combat 18 are terrorists. Animal Rights people throwing fire bombs and sending hazardous material in the post are terrorists. The Real IRA are terrorists.

    All laws should be periodically reviewed but I've seen no reason why they should be repealed.

    As for post #5 5. "At 11:22am on 25 Mar 2010, Oosyadaddy wrote:
    Growing up in the 70's during the IRA bombing campaigns, we didn't have these anti terrorist laws which infringed on peoples rights. I fear my government more than I fear any terrorist." If nothing else proves people have very short memories. In the 70's we had internment... anyone suspected of being in the IRA was locked up without trial indefinately. We had 'Diplock' trials without jury and the SAS used to go abroad and assassinate IRA terrorists. We also used the IRA as an excuse to abolish the right to silence. On a family holiday to Ireland in the mid 80's our car was taken apart by security at Stranraer... and I mean taken apart. Seat outs, engine dismantled etc. That was "slightly" more intrusive than a body scanner at an airport.

    Would you maybe like to rethink your comment?

  • Comment number 24.

    These laws are still necessary. If we get complacent lives will be lost. Let the PC brigade bleat on about human rights and ignore them. There are people out there, today, planning to kill British people. Make no mistake, if we let our guard down, something very bad will happen. Our services cannot fight terrorists with their hands tied behind their backs.

  • Comment number 25.

    #4 "However I am against 42 days of detention because it undermines the rule of law and the principle of habeas corpus. More people were killed by the IRA and by the Nazis during the Blitz but we never compromised on habeas corpus"

    During the Blitz we detained for the entire duration of the war all Italian and German nationals (including many jews) and even locked up some former MP's who were too favourable towards Hitler (like Oswald Mosley) again without trial. We all carried ID cards and we has secret trials and executions of spies.

    With the IRA we had internment, effectively state sanctioned assasination (SAS on Gibraltar), abolished the right to silence, beat confessions out of "terrorists" (Birmingham 6, Guildford 4) plus had trial without jury 'Diplock trials'.

  • Comment number 26.

    While some of the anti-terror laws have been misused i do feel there is a point everyone ignores. If the number of bombers/bomb makers and terrorist support/suppliers was released, what would yoru reaction be if it was a high number? To take this to the next step, what would your reaction be if members of your family or friends were blown up by a terrorist which the police had intel but did nothing for fear of upsetting the public?

    I now offer a final question for you to answer-

    Q: How many people does it take to detonate a suicide bomb?

    A: One plus a handler.

  • Comment number 27.

    Terrorism is here for the rest of time, only its form will mutate. Most of the anti-terror laws should remain in place with annual review by Parliament. The length of time allowable for detention without charge should be closely monitored, by a panel of Judges, on a case by case basis. It is too simplistic to argue that 42 days is too long, or too short, each detention must be justified to the Courts, even if that is in secret in the short term.
    Someone argued that even in WW2 the rules on 'Habeas Corpus' were not suspended, I simply refer him to DORA, an act which put the country on a full war footing, as for Northern Ireland they had special closed courts.
    By involving the Courts in the detention process at an early stage the rights of the innocent can be protected as well as the search for evidence.
    When shouting about 'Freedom' that must include the freedom of the population to go about its business without threat of Death at the hands of 'Freedom Fighters'.

  • Comment number 28.

    "Anti-terrorism laws passed since 11 September 2001 should be reviewed to see if they are still required, Parliament's joint committee on human rights has said. Are the laws still necessary?"

    Both RIPA and the Anti-terrorism act used to harrass photographers came out in 2000, BEFORE the 9/11 attacks! They were not a knee-jerk reaction, they had already been conceived and implemented by a bunch of control freaks called New Labour. What happened in NYC was just a convenient peg on which to hang their aspirations.

  • Comment number 29.

    Perhaps the anti terror law should be reconsidered but only to make it work better than it is at the moment.

    There are too many Islamic Extremists walking free in this country hiding behind EU Human Rights legislation. These people are a danger to all including those Muslims in this country who are law abiding decent UK citizens. I would like to see more from the Muslim community in speaking out against the radicals.

    Regarding the postings commenting on the IRA and the terror legislation not applying during this terror campaign of murder and mayhem know only half the story. I seem to remember all kinds of riots in Northern Ireland protesting against the imprisonment without trial legislation. Perhaps we should incorporate this for the rest of the UK in a revised anti terror bill.

  • Comment number 30.

    These Anti-terror laws didn't stop the London bombings in 2005 so they don't seem to be working very well.

  • Comment number 31.

    Setting aside the unresolved questions which hang over 9/11 and 7/7, the notion that the "life of the nation" was and is under threat is ludicrous. The UK emerged, intact, from the immediate military threat posed by Nazi Germany, so the idea that a few disaffected Muslims (or Irish men and women, come to that) can seriously undermine the British state is a myth peddled by assorted securocrats and fearmongers to justify repression and precipitate the consolidation of the (business led) surveillance state.

  • Comment number 32.

    At 11:22am on 25 Mar 2010, Oosyadaddy wrote:
    "Growing up in the 70's during the IRA bombing campaigns, we didn't have these anti terrorist laws which infringed on peoples rights. I fear my government more than I fear any terrorist."

    I don't know where you grew up, but during the IRA campaigns, there were many innocent people held without crime or without trial in Northern Ireland. The only reason people didn't complain about it, is because it was happening to the Irish Catholics, didn't affect any nice english people.

  • Comment number 33.

    It's not external threats I'm concerned about it's the current government is what I perceive as an internal threat. This current administration is trampling all over the constitution and yet he along with others took an oath to defend it against all enemies foreign or domestic.

  • Comment number 34.

    "The Anti terror laws powers' should be increased to included any outsiders, from any country who come to the U.K. to fund rise, or too cause trouble ? against our world -wide friends i.e The Americans, Saudi, and Israel, Any groups' or person, should be deported or and imprisoned by the border police, for any amount of time min 4 weeks untill they can be Charge with treason against the U.K.

  • Comment number 35.

    I feel they need to be reviewed because we are all in danger of becoming paranoid about each other. I agree with the comment about the IRA bombings in the 70's; we did not have all this then. We need to start improving peoples' feeling of comfort in their own country; start learning how to trust one another again.

  • Comment number 36.

    Too much or inadequate preemption is an expression of paranoia. Inadequate terror laws contribute to the creation of this paranoia.

    To their credit, the Libdems have been consistent and they are the only party that has the clear view that the UK and allies invaded the state of Iraq based on the *false* premise that the war was necessary in order to avoid potential future dissident non-state sponsored potential terrorist attacks.

    Nobody can come up with a clear public-domain description of what being a member of AL-QAEDA actually means. The whole public argument in favour/against current western wars against terrorism abroad is thus mostly rhetorical and has no substance.
    Most terrorist attacks are carried by random local dissidents with (unacceptable) extreme views that transcend states, cultural and even religious boundaries. Improvement in information technology has enabled the more efficient sharing of extremist views (a form of undesirable but existing globalization piggybacked on freedom of speech). But that is no justification for a country to start a war on a whole country with the aim of targeting a subset of undesirable foreign citizens. The French and Spanish states have not preemptively launched attacks in the Basque region...

    Attack is not always the best defence. For sure attack is not the only defence. In fact, the most efficient way to improve our security has been to introduce further checks and controls within airports. Improved eavesdropping and analysis of telecommunication traffic by dedicated agencies at home and elsewhere I'm sure have been key to maintain our security. In the US, in the same vein. inland security has been improved and increased.

    We only need more helicopters in Afghanistan if our soldiers have to stay there...(I'd like them to come back).

    Some economists argue that wars are economically useful as they prop up the defence and weapon industries and thus help maintain high tech jobs. This may well be the case indeed.
    They may however be seen as an artificial support of structural inefficiencies in our economy. This "selecting of economical winners" is done for political reasons.
    We should keep in mind thar Britain is famous and respected in the world for his removal of economic inefficiencies when its achievements are positive (e.g. the industrial revolution). Wars are very negative.

    The real reason behind our foreign policy is the conviction Britain is and should remain a "great power".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_relations
    Sounds alright provided we can afford it but in reference to the wikipedia reference, the balance between "hard power" and "soft power" needs to be discussed during the general election....We need to be explained why politicians think that keeping our troops in Irak and Afghanistan is necessary....

  • Comment number 37.

    '11. At 11:33am on 25 Mar 2010, happybrian123 wrote:
    Stop immigration and these Laws will not be needed.'

    I'm sorry, I have to disagree. One of the worst outrages of our times is our unquestioning support for the tyranny of Israel over the Palestinians. I'm not a muslim but the sheer hypocracy of our leaders condemning and invading Iraq because of an 'evil despot' compared with their blind eye for every act of disproportionate aggression against and collective punishment of Palestinian civilians, makes my blood boil and no doubt will have the same effect on Muslims around the world, including in this country. Terrorism exists everywhere and is not just a problem with 'foreigners'. Anti-terror laws are counter productive and only serve to terrorise Britain's population, especially those who are Muslim. We are creating home-grown terrorists with our foreign policy and discriminatory laws, and we're having our civil liberties stripped away in the process. You should never be able to lock someone up indefinitely without trial, confiscate their assets with no evidence of wrong-doing, and withold evidence from anyone accused so they have no chance to defend themselves, but this happens in this country. It's an outrage and it needs to stop.

  • Comment number 38.

    The Labour Government through its lax open door immigration policy - lets thousands of terrorists just stroll into the country. Rather than taking away British civil liberties - the Government should crack down hard on the Islamic Terrorists.

  • Comment number 39.

    These were always an attempt to instill fear and to erode personal privacy.

    Remove them all.

  • Comment number 40.

    if you want to fight for human rights maybe you should fight for the right to be served at chemists instead of being turned away because what you want is against the shop owners beliefs so they wont serve you. Or fight for the right to give homes to adoptable children without excluding gays. Fight for the rights of the abused children by demanding justice against the criminals and defenders of the crime. Maybe you should fight the right for smokers to be allowed to live as they wish while asking they be considerate to others.

    So many freedoms are lost by giving into religious foolishness and the keep everyone alive brigade no matter what sacrifice. The anti-terror laws have been occasionally abused and need addressing but at the rate we are going we will support the terrorists rights to blow us up because it is their rights to a belief.

  • Comment number 41.

    Another leading question on HYS. Were these laws EVER necessary is a better question.
    We went through the Irish troubles without the need for 'extended detention without charge' and all the other erosions of civil liberties, such as cctv installations, and ID cards that we have had in the name of "terrorism prevention'.
    None of it was necessary, it was all about raising taxes and job creation for labour supporters and of course keeping the voting sheep afraid and thus subdued.
    Bring on the Tories to clean up all the illegal immigrants and restore a sense of balance to Britland

  • Comment number 42.

    Whilst we need protection from terrorists, I believe the pre-existing laws were mostly adequate. After all they were OK to deal with the IRA. Maybe they needed a little tweaking after 9/11 to bring them up to date with technology, but we didn't need the raft of oppressive legislation that followed. These have only served to alienate the public from the police and government and surely driven some into the arms of the extremists. Oppressive regimes and police states are the best recruiting sergeants for terrorists. These new laws have been further discredited by their misuse by various bodies to spy and interfere with members of the public with no possible links to terrorism.

    Surely it would be better to do away with most of the post 9/11 legislation and rebuild the trust and cooperation between the public and the police. A hundred pairs of eyes on every street who will report suspicious acts is far better than a few police who are shunned and mistrusted.

    To make us feel safer, by all means increase the size of all the security and police services. This does not require repressive laws and would be much more effective.

  • Comment number 43.

    32. At 12:09pm on 25 Mar 2010, suzie127 wrote:
    I don't know where you grew up, but during the IRA campaigns, there were many innocent people held without crime or without trial in Northern Ireland. The only reason people didn't complain about it, is because it was happening to the Irish Catholics, didn't affect any nice english people.

    But they aren't UK citizens, or if they are, they don't want to be UK citizens do they? I've no problem with keeping aggressive foreigners in jail for being stroppy.

  • Comment number 44.

    YES!! Powers such as those given in section 44 have been heavily abused. Their main usage has been to discourage protests and civil unrest, not to prevent terrorism. What's more, in less than 0.1% of all cases where this power has been used were people actually arrested for a terrorist offence.

    At best the terrorism legislation is just a unintelligent knee-jerk response by the government to stop events like 9/11 from happening again. At worst, the government is using terrorism as a cover for enforcing stricter controls on the general population in the slow and steady movement towards a police state.

  • Comment number 45.

    Well I for one never thought I would see the day when our Police Officers carry machine guns on the streets of London!

    I think the terrorist won already!

    Shame on us all for allowing our country to degenerate toward the ZERO!

  • Comment number 46.

    Yes, and this should go without saying. If there proves to be a justification still, then fair enough, but a regular review of laws which, by the nature of the beast, are likely to be temporary, is essential. Were it otherwise, we would still be carrying the old wartime Identity Cards, and Italian and German internees would be getting rather old.

  • Comment number 47.

    The comments about Britain meddling in other countries and I presume our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan being the reason for terrorism. Can they please tell me that, prior to 2001, neither America or UK were involved in any military campaigns in either of these countries until terrorists decided to blow up the twin towers. The reaction to this was to retaliate, and quite rightly so. If people think our withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan will reduce the terrorist threat, then they are sadly mistaken. Some people also cite the Palestinian issue as the reason for terrorism, but this is nothing to do with us. I'm sure that even if the Palestian issue was resolved, the terrorists would find something else to replace it to justify their hostility and actions.

  • Comment number 48.

    30. At 12:08pm on 25 Mar 2010, Dutchie76 wrote:

    These Anti-terror laws didn't stop the London bombings in 2005 so they don't seem to be working very well.

    ---------------------------------

    And yet they have stopped so many attacks and even cells. Just imagine what other attrocities would have been carried out by brainwashed children who's parents say 'but he was a good religious boy' without these laws. if the parents wont help, if the community wont help, what can the police do if not step up their activities? Too much support is given to the muslim (not blaming asian, its muslims not catholics now) human rights which allowed hate preachers to walk our streets, to verbally abuse the british and show support to the terrorists we are fighting.

    If the muslim community truely faught against the terrorists corrupting their followers we would be better off. Some muslims actively try to support us but not many. Most are happy ignoring the problem and repeating they were all good boys before trying to kill everyone.

    We all need to work together

  • Comment number 49.

    It's the POLITICS OF FEAR being played out by New Labour:

    1. Create an ogre;

    2. Use the media to demonise that ogre;

    3. The populous becomes malleable;

    4. Pass laws to control the populous.

    Classic Straussian theory in action by New Labour. The excellent BBC documentary "The Power of Nightmares" should be essential viewing to see how Tony Blair and, now, Gordon Brown, are using Straussian theory to control what we do and how we think.

    Look at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: the whole media campaign, used by New Labour, has shifted from why we are there to 'support our boys or you are a terrorist sympathiser'.

    And let's not forget the new anti-terrorism hotline adverts by New Labour. These are designed to divide the British public, make them suspicious and comply to the wishes of the New Labour. A classic case of 'divide and conquer'.

  • Comment number 50.

    It just so happens that the two nations most embroiled in multi-cultureism are America and Britain. America can't stop poking their oar into other countries business and we as a nation instead of doing what's right for us, follow them like a lap dog. America as a nation will implode before long,they are a divided nation more so with race than religion, and unless we get our act together and rid our country of those who hate us, don't and won't fit in to our culture, we will follow them. As long as misguided evil people are in our midst we need anti-terrorism laws. It's a great shame that we need them because without the religious fanatics, our country would be the envy of the world. The white anglo saxon that is the backbone of our country, are the amongst the kindest most compassionate people in the world. Religious hang-ups have no place in Britain so unless we have a strong government that will not flinch at ridding our country of the evil, we need the anti-terrorism laws that exist, if not stronger.

  • Comment number 51.

    There are those with vested interests who would like the population to be nothing more than worker drones who ask no questions and do what they're told. The terror laws have allowed them to introduce freedom-denying legislation to their hearts' content. They will probbaly not allow the laws to be debated in the next parliament, or will only allow cosmetic changes. The recently suggested restrictions on the right to photograph pretty much anything are a case in point; nothing to do with terror, everything to do with non-accountablity of police and freedom of big corporations to do whatever they like. I can't see the incoming tory regime being on the side of freedom - they never have been before.

  • Comment number 52.

    Yes, we must NEVER forget that vicious pensioner terrorist at the Labour Conference must we?

  • Comment number 53.

    I would like to see anti-terror laws in place. I would like the law to be enhanced to actually protect the innocent and severly punish the criminal. I live in an area where Many Muslims live, many of the younger ones see themselves as victims because Nu Labour has encouraged them to. There are actually plenty more job opportunities for a Muslim person than any other group as they are being appeased. It's hight time that many Muslims educated their children better instead of acting like they are hard done and looking to another country as 'home'.

    They should instead learn a lesson from the Hindu minority who have integrated very well here, who do not act like victims and instead do something positive with their lives.

  • Comment number 54.

    34. At 12:10pm on 25 Mar 2010, Lewis Fitzroy wrote:
    "The Anti terror laws powers' should be increased to included any outsiders, from any country who come to the U.K. to fund rise, or too cause trouble ? against our world -wide friends i.e The Americans, Saudi, and Israel, Any groups' or person, should be deported or and imprisoned by the border police, for any amount of time min 4 weeks untill they can be Charge with treason against the U.K.

    -----------------------------------
    It's ignorance like this that I am most fearful of. How can a non-UK citizen be charged with treason against the UK? And to call the Saudi's "our friends" is streching the imagination way too far (and even the Israeli's for that matter, given how Mossad behaved regarding cloning British passports). Have you forgotton that the perpetrators of 9/11 were all, bar one, Saudi's?

    I am aware that this fact is not often quoted in the press for fear of upsetting the sensibilities of the Saudi's (or, more likely, glossed over in order to preserve lucrative defense contracts and oil deals), but it is, nontheless, a fact that the Saudi's were far more involved in 9/11 than any othe Muslim country, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, and all the others put together.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    Of course anti terrorists laws must stay in place here in the UK,so we are able to deal successfully with any terrorist threat where ever it's coming from here.

    On of the reasons we got into this situation in the first place was because we here are seen by some immigrants as an easy touch,as the Americans are now finding out now quite a lot of those released from Guantanamo bay are not as innocent as they made themselves out to be.

    To ease are situation here in the UK all known terrorists that reside here in the UK should either be permanently jailed or deported with no regard for their personal safety whatsoever,there must be no safe haven for anyone who preaches racial/religious hatred,here or anywhere else.

  • Comment number 57.

    "45. At 12:26pm on 25 Mar 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:
    Well I for one never thought I would see the day when our Police Officers carry machine guns on the streets of London! "

    Do you ever watch 'Life on Mars' with Philip Glenister? You should... it explodes a few myths about the 'good old days' not least one episode when Gene Hunt has his men bring in every Irish labourer in Manchester to beat the hell out of them to find which one is the terrorist (none of them were of course). More to the point you'd noticed that untrained CID officers could draw firearms whenever they wanted (watch the Sweeney too). This was only stopped after several innocent people were shot and killed.

    At least the cops on duty in London are properly trained to use their weapons and wear uniform. The weapons are also rather useful against the legions of well armed drug dealers who are a far bigger menace to us brits than terrorists.

  • Comment number 58.

    I'd like a review of every bit of knee-jerk, populist, shallow and cynical policy implemented over the last 10 years to be reviewed but we should start with the terrorist laws used to police peoples bin stuffing habits as a priority.

  • Comment number 59.

    Wow; the moderators got my name wrong - presumably because someone else has used it, but could not tell me beforehand that this was the case. However, the site accepted my 3rd attempt at a username BECAUSE this was acknowledged as unique - so it DID know that. Enlightenment please.

    Meanwhile...........interesting to see that HYS maintains its tradition of allowing us to bend all topics towards favourite bigotries.I wonder if all those who either do not know or do not care about this and similar forums are so divided (and divisive).

  • Comment number 60.

    >These laws are still necessary. If we get complacent lives will be lost.

    Lives are being lost in any case, people are dying all kinds of reasons in this conflict but people will die regardless, whether it's here or elsewhere so lets please accept that nutters will try to kill people and try to move forward with our own agenda, not simly reacting to that of the nutters.

    The question is, what sort of society do we want to live in.

    Do we want to be able to be free to voice opinions about things, protest about injustice, comment about beliefs of others that we disagree with, should we be allowed to take photos of on-duty police, do we want all these CCTV cameras on our streets - these kinds of decisions.

    The people need to decide this, not the politicians.

    When we have decided that, we can move on and try to achieve our aims but without agreement about that, we can't possibly work towards it.

    HMG need to follow our lead, not the converse !

  • Comment number 61.

    It's not just the laws that need reviewing - and they do! - it's their use and application.

    There are numerous examples of mis-use by the Police - the most remembered is probably the Brighton heckling pensioner - and this is deeply disturbing to anyone concerned about civil liberties.

    There are far more people killed in this country from catching diseases in filthy hospitals than die from any act of terrorism. If you want to get value for money in terms of lives saved then you would divert the majority of the money spent on anti-terrorism measures into cleaning hospitals. You could say the same about deaths and road accidents, you would save more lives from improving road safety than from spending on anti-terrorism.

    The real targets of terrorism are not the ordinary people, they are simply a secondary target. The main targets are our political leaders who are seen as the cause of the wars we are fighting. Of course, at the tax payers expense, these people surround themselves with all manner of security systems to stop them being attacked so the secondary target is used. Perhaps we should strip our political leaders of all security, perhaps then they would attempt a political settlement to those wars.

  • Comment number 62.

    Let me ask a question about this. If you were involved in any act of treason you would be excuted. If you are a foreigner and got involved with terrorism you would serve a sentence in prison and be deported back to your own country. Why hasn't Britain done this and show a position of strength rather then pander to all these Muslim Countries. Disgraceful !!!!

  • Comment number 63.

    There is every reason to wish the so called "anti-terrorism" law away. It is being used for the wrong reasons is a good starting place. When honest protesters, demonstrators, or dissenters are treated as enemies of the State then there is most definitely something wrong somewhere.

    In my opinion no one should be held without charge for more than 48 hours.

  • Comment number 64.

    In considering this question two thoughts come to mind -

    We should not so easily accept the avoidance of death as a substitute for the achievements of living! Fear is no substitute for joy!

    Those accepting the doctrine of Sacrifice are merely seeking to live as an animal in the deluded belief they seek to live as an angel!

    I did not consent and I refuse to accept the destruction of freedom in the name of salvation from an unknown undefined fear! I will not live in fear of the State!

  • Comment number 65.

    3. At 11:15am on 25 Mar 2010, geezershoong wrote:
    It really disturbs me to hear adverts on the radio for the Anti-Terrorist Hotline...

    'Does your neighbour have his curtains closed all day?'
    'Is someone on your road buying large amount of fertilizer'

    Our curtains stay closed while we're at work all day, so that the local yobs can't look in to see what we have worth stealing. We've also just taken delivery of a load of chicken manure for our garden (it is spring, after all).

    Will we therefore be expecting one of our paranoid neighbours to be ringing the hotline? If so, I sincerely hope the MI-5 agents who break down our door like freshly-baked biscuits with their morning tea :)

  • Comment number 66.

    Nick (47)

    You write:

    "The comments about Britain meddling in other countries and I presume our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan being the reason for terrorism. Can they please tell me that, prior to 2001, neither America or UK were involved in any military campaigns in either of these countries until terrorists decided to blow up the twin towers. The reaction to this was to retaliate, and quite rightly so. If people think our withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan will reduce the terrorist threat, then they are sadly mistaken."

    A look at the history paints a different picture. In 2001, the US and UK were still bombing Iraq on weekly based in support of the 'no fly zones' (often referred to incorrectly as the UN no fly zones). These zones had no legal authority and so rendered them an ongoing act of terrorism by the US and UK against Iraq. Iraq was also in the grip of a sanctions regime described as 'genoicidal' by the UN officials charged with administerating it. These sanctions, throughout the 1990s were responsible for 100,000s of deaths, notably of children under 5. This paragraph merely scratches the surface of the horrors we inflicted on that nation.

    At the same time, the US also had approximately 100,000 troops stationed in Saudi Arabia. This was allowed by the corrupt group of thugs who were installed by the US in the 1930s and continue to rule on its behalf but was an outrage to ordinary people.

    These are just two principal examples of a pattern dating back well into the last century of the UK and then US supporting corrupt and brutal regimes and deposing democratic ones, in order to protect 'strategic interests' (mainly control of oil).

    The attacks on the twin towers were an act of retaliation for decades of US crimes in the region. They followed attacks on US embassies and on the USS Cole, all of which occurred during the 1990s following the occupation of the Holy Lands (our stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia). bin laden and others like him have been quite explicit about why they are attacking us. It is certainly not because they 'hate our freedoms' or other such nonsense. They do not attack Sweden, Denmark etc. The US and UK have known for decades precisely why they 'hate' us: because we interfere with their governments and block their development to further our own interests.

    The former CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer was responsible for tracking bin Laden during the 1990s. He wrote a couple of years ago that:

    "bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us. None of the reasons have anything to do with our freedom, liberty, and democracy, but have everything to do with U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world."

    Instead bin Laden wants to "drastically alter U.S. and Western policies toward the Islamic world... He is a practical warrior, not an apocalyptic terrorist in search of Armageddon."

    Numerous internal US and UK studies, going back at least to 1958 repeat this. We are hated for very good reason for what we have done to them, not how we choose to live. The US in particular is always involved in a war somewhere, if not in the Middle East, then in eastern europe or, as in the 1980s, through central and south America.


    You also write:

    "Some people also cite the Palestinian issue as the reason for terrorism, but this is nothing to do with us. I'm sure that even if the Palestian issue was resolved, the terrorists would find something else to replace it to justify their hostility and actions."

    The US is everything to do with Israel's 60 year war on the Palestinians -it funds it to the tune of $6bn a year. The UK is involved because of the support we offer, such as allowing Israel military supplies to come through our territory and the general fact that we ally ourselves so closely with the US -often acting as the single fig leaf of support for what are actually unilateral crimes. As Chatham House concluded in 2005:

    "A key problem for the UK in preventing terrorism in Britain is the government's position as "pillion passenger" to the United States' war on terror".

    Changing our policies will not eliminate all terrorism against us over night. How could it when one thinks of the millions of lives we have destroyed in Iraq alone. Yes, there will be people who hate us for a generation or more whatever we do. Yet changing our policies now is the only way we will finally start to end terrorism, not just for our own sake but because intrinsically it is the right thing to do.

    The first thing to do if you are serious about ending terrorism is to stop carrying it out yourself. Until we can do that, we should not expect anyone to take us seriously.

  • Comment number 67.

    The IRA bombing campaign was far more deadly and effective than Al Qaeda's UK campaign but we did far less about them. The IRA could make bombs that actually went off amongst other things and were backed by far more UK citizens and were funded by Americans. Even the atrocities of September 11th could have been easily prevented if airport security had done it's job properly, what security worth its salt misses knives.

    What's going on now is a governemnt and police force gatehring more power to themselves in the name of keeping us safe. Fascists.

  • Comment number 68.

    Yes they should be reviewed. They should stop demonising certain sections of the population which just encourages prejudice.
    The terror threat is exaggerated to deflect the population from the real problems.

  • Comment number 69.

    Making it illegal to photograph a policeman should certainly be repealed - it was an outrage that that was ever part of the Terrorism Act. That invasion of liberty was not deemed necessary even when policemen were specifically targetted during the IRA's campaigns. It is impossible to justify now. All it has done is to allow the police to confiscate cameras of perfectly decent people and to arrest people they know very well are not terrorists. It is a clear marker post along the road to a police state, which will leave us with no freedoms worth protecting. The only places I have previously seen such bans are countries with a tradition of dictatorships - we should be better than that, and until this legislation we were.

  • Comment number 70.

    The Governmebt will always come up with ideas on how to stop and search majority of law abiding people thats the sort of people they are - control freaks. What they will not do is to start tackling the real terrorists. Its no coincidence that London is called Londonistan, there has to be a reson; As much as our anti terrorist unit identifies suspects the good old PC and Human Rights brigade get involved and thats it Lawyers make vast amount of money on legal aid the terrorst suddenly becomes British and cannot be expelled or we cannot get rid of him because there are fears for his saftey! what about our safety? Sadly in the world we live in, in this country we do not count

  • Comment number 71.

    There is no need for any of the anti terror laws to be in place.
    I believe the only reason these laws exist is to create fear in the public to a non existant threat. This is Orwelean prophecy come true.

    War is peace and all that.

    do a google search on the psychological effect of mass hyseria and the ability for an authority figure to gain better control through instilling fear in the masses. come on.. can nobody else see this?

    I would be extremely surprised if this valid observation is allowed to be posted on here.

  • Comment number 72.

    Policemen banning photos in streets when the same is available in great detail on Google Street View, is an example of silly rules that should be reviewed.

    The dumbing down of the ethnic british and the absence of rules in other areas encouraging the rise of competative and "enemy" cultures, is an example where we need rules.

    The threat has arrisen because we've given declared rivals space and freedom to operate, instead of not allowing it in the first place by demanding allegiance, now the problem is ingrained.

  • Comment number 73.

    Yes.

    They should insert a clause setting out that those who currently have "exceptional leave to remain" will lose the entitlement to that leave if they are arrested in a war zone in a foreign country and suspect of terrorist offences.

    I'm sure you can all think of an example of such a person...

  • Comment number 74.

    Yes the laws were aknee jerk reaction to a situation at a particular time. Since then the government has fed the hysteria on terrorism in order to bring in laws which enable it to do what it want.
    Anti-terrorism laws should exist but should be define better and less open to challenges by so called human right lawyers defending those who are out to deprive everyone else of the first human life to live and exist in a 'safe' enviroment.

    One thingfor certain...no terrorist or suspected terrorist should be allowed out on bail or given any form of parole, and if the originated from another country any UK citizenship that was granted after birth should be strippped and they should be kick back to their country of original citizenship.

  • Comment number 75.

    It amazes me that many people are complaining not only about the terror laws but about CCTV on the streets etc.

    When something happens in this country the first thing we seem to do is blame the government and ask why they did not prevent it from happening.

    When a government tries to implement a system whereby they will be able to stop certain things from happening, we complain about our civil liberties.

    Can someone please explain where the balance lies, because personally I can't figure out what you want, can you?

  • Comment number 76.

    "Should anti-terrorism laws be reviewed"?

    YES. But for one reason only: ABUSE OF TERRORISM LAWS to spy on law-abiding citizens.

    Local authorities and certain government departments are 'abusing anti-terrorism laws' to spy on behalf of the bin police, the school police etc?

    Can an ordinary citizen call upon anti-terrorism laws to spy on their wasteful local authorities or so-called anti-social behaviour - which is basic thuggery and serious crime? NO, DIDN'T THINK SO!

  • Comment number 77.

    12. At 11:34am on 25 Mar 2010, thomas wrote:
    "Even a non guilty suspect who is held while they are investigated must surely see that these measures are essential for the common good."

    What?!? You would be quite happy to be plucked out of your life for a month and a half, unable to even tell anybody where you've gone, without having done anything wrong. Do you think you would still have a job at the end of that? Got a wife/husband/partner? Children? How are they supposed to cope when you disappear suddenly and without warning? Oh and the police will tell them without any proof about all the hideous things you're supposed to have done. Got a mortage? Loans? Need to pay rent? How are you going to make payments while being secretly held with no income? How are you going to pay off the incurred debts afterwards when you have no job and can't get one because the police have been telling everyone you're a terrorist?
    This law can destroy the lives of innocent people. After this length of time you could easily have lost your job, your home, your savings and the support of your family and friends.
    I'm sure you would be very understanding if it happened to you. All in the interests of the "common good" after all.

  • Comment number 78.

    62. Gillian
    "If you were involved in any act of treason you would be excuted."

    No you wouldn't. There is no death penalty in the UK.

    And foreign criminals are imprisoned then deported all the time. So what is your point?

  • Comment number 79.

    I don't know where you grew up, but during the IRA campaigns, there were many innocent people held without crime or without trial in Northern Ireland. The only reason people didn't complain about it, is because it was happening to the Irish Catholics, didn't affect any nice english people.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    And the Irish Catholics behaved so well during the troubles and went to mass every sunday and never hurt anyone did they?

  • Comment number 80.

    Bush and Blair type of panic and hysteria served well calculated purposes. One day history may serve the truth to those who were the victims of it. I see no reason to continue that path, as that has only one end: War or violence

  • Comment number 81.

    The terrorism act should be repealed and the time that suspects should be held should be reduced back to 14 days. 7/7 was nearly 5 years ago and since then our government hasn't set-up anymore false flags, so I think we should be safe from "terrorism" from now on.

  • Comment number 82.

    RE #61 - This poster has a very interesting suggestion !

    "Perhaps we should strip our political leaders of all security, perhaps then they would attempt a political settlement to those wars."

  • Comment number 83.

    Ref Red rebel and rent a mob , I am speaking the truth The U.K. is very soft on its enimies Many of our people, dont understand the world picture. We need new stronger law to jail them, {The outsiders'} when they come here to cause trouble like the Palestine terrorist. and others who are here now!!!! they hate us in the west, because of our freedom and fairplay. our great friends The American and The Saudi and Israel will allways' be a great and wonderful people in our eyes'.

  • Comment number 84.

    I don't think they need reviewing, they need repealing. And then all these rules about 'universal suffrage'. We don't have democracy - the current government never enjoyed popular support in the electorate, and indeed would still have a majority in the commons on a lower vote than the conservatives. Neither major party has ever actually asked the electorate about any important decision - from recent EU treaties to local taxation. What we actually need is a political system where my vote counts for something, where my elected representative listens to me, not the guy in charge of his expenses, where we have honest and decent people in charge elected by people who have the intelligence, interest and ability to make sensible decisions.
    The last Labour victory has often been put down to women voting for Blairs smile, previous Conservative victories were down to The Sun telling people the minimum wage would lead to mass unemployment.
    All the media can do is lie to us - telling us the government propoganda about unemployment (at the moment around 20% of the working age population aren't working - are unemployed), inflation (seen the price of bread, milk, vegtables, meat, council tax - we don't buy a camcorder a month!)
    Then we have the stupid situation where Conservative councils and Labour ministers would rather buy a German car, German van, American tank, Indian computer system or Chinese army uniform than anything made in the UK. (Which is exactly why unemployment is so terrifyingly high).

  • Comment number 85.

    YES OF COURSE TERRORISM LAWS SHOULD BE MAINTAINED IN UK.

    HOWEVER, there multiple ABUSERS of the above laws such as local authorities spying on parents trying to get their children into decent schools - yet these same authorities do not use same laws to spy on child abusers? Hmm?

  • Comment number 86.

    I don't feel safe at all, and its NOT the terrorists that scare me. Ok I might be unlucky and get killed by a terrorist but this would only because labour feels the need to wage war on everybody else who won't fall in line behind them. as far as I can see the new laws are only being used on members of the public who haven't really done anything wrong, listing examples taking photos in the wrong areas, protesting cause the current idiotic goverment won't listen to the public that it serves, and forcing people to give keys for there encryption, otherwise your branded a terrorist or a pedo, and if you don't then its prison, holding people against there will for 28 days, its inicent until proven guilty in this country and this is plain wrong it always has been. These are just some of the things that scare me about these laws.

  • Comment number 87.

    I agree that anti-terrorism laws should be re-examined.
    I agree because the more such anti-terrorism laws that exist, the more they restrict and interfere with human rights.
    I personally do not feel safer because of anti-terrorism laws.
    It’s time that these anti-terrorism laws become international, perhaps under the auspices of the United Nations.
    Black holes of torture should not exist, renditions should not exist, years in captivity without trial should never happen. Places like Guantanamo where I can't remember so much as ONE conviction – military or regular court - are places that make the western world appear more terrifying than the terrorists.
    All aspects of these laws should be reviewed, including but not exclusively criminal law, laws against financing terrorism, asylum laws…
    What does this word, “terrorism” mean anyway, this word that we throw around so freely? Has it been legally defined? Should it include the supply of weapons to states or groups who engage in freedom-fighting vs. terrorism, and what is the difference between the two?
    In the UK (Terrorism Act 2000) “terrorism” requires proof of religious or political motives. Does this need updating?
    A universal definition of terrorism has proven illusive. Why is that? On 28 September 2001 the United Nations' Security Council issued Resolution 1373 calling on all member states to criminalize
    - terrorist acts and financing, as well as
    - planning, preparation and support for terrorism.
    You will note: R1373 fails to define terrorism. The result: each country can play with the definition and in doing that, play with human rights - incarcerating for decades, torturing, stealing finances, etc.
    Security Council Resolution 1373 needs revisiting.
    Why?
    Because Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter binds all member states.
    Because the resolution pays little inattention to international human rights.
    R1373 makes it appear that addressing terrorism is more importance than the human rights over which it tramps.
    This quick & dirty R1373, has the American style all over it.
    Is it right that a country, like the United States, can declare another country like Iran "terrorist" and therefore freeze its bank accounts – without trial, without presumption of innocence, and without adjudication before a Court...or is this just a way to steal Iranian money?
    In developed countries, especially the United Kingdom and the United States, Governments have been quick to construct complex anti-terrorism law, amending existing law (e.g. immigration law and financial law). Disturbingly, these alternative laws usually have lower standards of proof. In fact, claims of political and other forms of persecution have been made by immigrants, especially asylum seekers.
    Bottom line: Please
    1. Consider taking the entire matter to the UN for the sake of uniformity.
    1. Define terrorism as part of R1373.
    2. Review the anti-terrorism laws in view of the definition.
    3. Make sure that we, as so-called developed countries, do not do onto less developed countries what we would not want done to ourselves; this includes such things as indefinite incarceration without trial, freezing assets without trial, rendition without trial and especially bombing the entire infrastructure of countries in search of terrorists.

  • Comment number 88.

    47. At 12:29pm on 25 Mar 2010, Nick wrote:
    "The comments about Britain meddling in other countries and I presume our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan being the reason for terrorism. Can they please tell me that, prior to 2001, neither America or UK were involved in any military campaigns in either of these countries until terrorists decided to blow up the twin towers. The reaction to this was to retaliate, and quite rightly so."

    were you not alive in 1991 during the first gulf war and subsequent sanctions killing mainly children? I think we should be tough on terrorists but we do need a balanced view on why people are blowing each other up.
    And what link did sadaams iraq (our friend when we gave him weapons to kill iranians) have with 9/11?

  • Comment number 89.

    Although generally I treat 'HYS' with contempt I think this is a serious subject. I'm most concerned at the way in which innocent activities such as photography are being treated with suspicion, even to the extent of encouraging people to report photographers. I should know, a black friend was stopped for photographing the Houses of Parliament across the river (how many thousands do that every day?) and I had my collar felt for photographing the Royal Coat of Arms on Buckingham Palace having been 'reported' by a 'member of the public' who clearly needed something better to do.
    Stop and search is particularly alarming; a black colleague of unimpeachable respectability (but who drives a Jaguar that he bought with some inherited money) is routinely stopped, and this is the case for many others. This hardly encourages Black and other groups to trust the police and affects the fight against crime generally.
    As mentioned by other posters, we should abandon our efforts to interfere in other countries and to play a role in the Middle East 'Peace settlement'. Israel plainly is not interested in peace and believes they will always be supported by the West; until it is realised there that they must come to an accommodation with their neighbours and that we and the West generally will not support them unless they do then there will continue to be a cause for terrorism to develop around.

  • Comment number 90.

    With a success rate of 0.017% for stop & search (the percentage of people stopped & search on suspicion of engaging in terrorist activities who were actually charged/caution for terror related charges)(we don't know what the success rate for 28 days incarceration without; charge, access to legal representation, knowledge of what you're suspected of, contact with the outside world etc. is because the Govt. won't tell us) a review on an efficacy basis alone is well overdue.

    #57 wrote "At least the cops on duty in London are properly trained to use their weapons and wear uniform. The weapons are also rather useful against the legions of well armed drug dealers who are a far bigger menace to us brits than terrorists"

    I'm sure this is a great comfort to the family of J.C. De Menezes who was accused (smeared) of both Terrorism & Drug Dealing (and acting suspiciously) by "official spokespersons" through the Media when the HEALTH & SAFETY inquiry showed nothing of the sort. I wonder what sort of message the Govt. Sanctioned Murder of Innocents sends to the terrorists. " If you commit atrocities, we will publically execute someone of completely different religious, ethnic, cultural and geographic (not even the same continent)background and then cover it up when it becomes apparent that the whole basis for this happening is jumpy, paranoid armed officers who can't tell one brown face from another.

  • Comment number 91.

    62. At 1:06pm on 25 Mar 2010, Gillian wrote:

    Let me ask a question about this. If you were involved in any act of treason you would be excuted. If you are a foreigner and got involved with terrorism you would serve a sentence in prison and be deported back to your own country. Why hasn't Britain done this and show a position of strength rather then pander to all these Muslim Countries. Disgraceful !!!!

    ---------------------------------------

    Because it is racist and against other peoples beliefs, even if those beliefs are to harm you, your family and your country. Interesting how the Isreli hit team is looked on as bad but yet they are constantly attacked and so went after people purchasing weapons for their enemy. Their enemy wont negotiate with them even though other arab countries have. Their enemy is relentless and all that needs to be done is negotiate. But the palestine has out right refused consistently.

    We are not in a better position. The taliban attack us and are attacking the afghans. The afghan people want our help and we fight terrorists side by side. We are trying to negotiate with them but the taliban is only 1 group. The wahabii are a problem for the saudi's and al-Qaeda is an offshoot who called to expand the war from saudi to encompas the world. They declared war on the world and we must all fight them. But why do our people allow themselves to be perverted to support the terrorists?

    Our people complain against chasing down terrorists who started the war.

    Our people fight for the rights of muslims above the safety of the country (and I am not being racist).

    Full integration into our way of life or leave the country should be the only way. This does not stop opinions but does stop terrorism or the supporting of terrorism.

  • Comment number 92.

    I have always understood that any legislation that impinges on individual rights and liberties, when passed for the first time, includes a clause calling for periodic review and Parliamentary approval in order for it to be renewed, or else it "time expires". Does this question imply that our present extremely authoritarian government no longer considers this necessary - another protection of our liberties that has been erased stealthily perhaps?

  • Comment number 93.

    52. At 12:45pm on 25 Mar 2010, snarlygronkit wrote:
    Yes, we must NEVER forget that vicious pensioner terrorist at the Labour Conference must we?

    Indeed. It was terrible how Walter Wolfgang was flown to Algeria for torture then detained at Guantanimo for a decade wasn't it?

    "Detained under terrorism laws" sounds so much more exciting than held (not even arrested) on the pavement for 20 minutes while the police try to work out why the angry pensioner with no pass is trying to barge into a private function with half the government in the room. Peter Mandelson was briefly detained because he didn't have his pass either. Try and barge into a room with Obama or Putin in it and you'll probably get shot.

  • Comment number 94.

    Yes, the laws should be reviewed.

    (declaration of personal interest: I have had family members and friends murdered by terrorists)

    Less than 60 people have been killed by terrorists in the mainland UK in the last decade. More than that die every week in NHS hospitals from infections that they have picked up in said hospitals.
    - Statistically the probability that the NHS kills me dwarfs the probability that terrorists will - and i'm supposed to be scared of the terrorists? Why?

    I am far more scared of the powers that the government have given themselves and the police (detention without trial, in many cases the removal of the presumtion of innocence until proven guilty, eavesdropping and interception of communications) and the affect that they will have on society than I am of the terrorists

    What the government does affects everyone of the 60 million plus people in the UK compared to what the terrorists may manage (and they may not manage it) to do which could affect... lets say a few thousand.

    I know the definition of terrorism is very subjective ("one man's terorist is another man's freedom fighter") but its generally taken to involve scaring a populace or section of a populous to help achieve a political end?
    - I would include the UK goverment under that definition. They have tried their very best to divide and scare the population of this country with the threat of the bogey-man to achieve their own political ends (staying in power, the introduction of ID cards, the whole raft of new legislation making suppressing opinions that they disagree with (thought crime?))

    Combined with "the paedophile emergency" (most abuse still happens at the hands of family members and - shock! horror! facebook is not involved! - and the number of cases is relatively unchanged), talk about a way to break down a community! its like they've pressed the accelerator on social breakdown.

    Its a very convenient of social control.

  • Comment number 95.

    Power corrupts.

    Every law is abused by either side.

  • Comment number 96.

    "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

  • Comment number 97.

    "67. At 1:14pm on 25 Mar 2010, Libmeister wrote:
    The IRA bombing campaign was far more deadly and effective than Al Qaeda's UK campaign but we did far less about them"

    Not really. The IRA specifically tried to limit the death tolls from their bombs (at least when aimed at civillians) and usually phoned in warnings. They wanted to kill one or two at a time to cause terror, but not kill so many that they lost support abroad. The bombing they carried out on Remembrance day was a massive own goal.

    Al Qu'eda on the other hand want to kill as many infidels as possible. If Al Qu'eda had an atom bomb they'd use it. If the IRA had one they wouldn't.

    As I'm getting sick of pointing out we DID do a hell of a lot to combat the IRA including removing the right to silence, beating confessions and planting evidence, trial without jury & using the SAS to assassinate IRA members.

  • Comment number 98.

    Do you remember the IRA?

    They used to blow things up and shoot people and all sorts of other terrorist like things including a certain Tory conference. yet after they stopped(more or less) attacking mainland UK we got a new threat.

    This time it wasn't an attack on us but one of our allies that caused the upset(why why why). Because an ally got attacked(not us) we introduced new laws and rules that when we faced a far bigger and more local threat weren't needed(for some reason).

    since these new laws we have had a few attacks on our country(after we invaded foreign country's with no legal mandate IMO) but none of them as broad in scope as the IRA were. yet these laws prevail despite being massively unneeded.

    we don't need these laws we don't want these laws, they don't help us the public but they do inspire(embolden i think is the political term) our enemys and increase fear of our own government. personally these laws have convinced me that our MP's are a bigger threat to our way of life than any number of Muslim terrorists or catholic ones or protestants.

    Repeal these laws and give us back our free land before the people of this once great nation do what we have always done when we feel those in power don't serve our interests(yes that is a warning that we are closer to civil war IMO than being a UNITED anything much less kingdom)

  • Comment number 99.

    #88 "were you not alive in 1991 during the first gulf war and subsequent sanctions killing mainly children? I think we should be tough on terrorists but we do need a balanced view on why people are blowing each other up.
    And what link did sadaams iraq (our friend when we gave him weapons to kill iranians) have with 9/11?"

    I was. Saddam invaded a peaceful British ally, took 300 Brits hostage from a BA 747 and used them as human shields (a war crime). He was ejected in a totally just war backed by the UN with half a dozen Arab nations helping. The sanctions were enforced by the entire world via the UN. They killed kids because Saddam himself made sure kids suffered as it made good PR for people like you. Most medicines weren't restricted but Saddam used the money from his allowed oil sales to try to rebuild his army rather than feed & doctor his people.

    Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 but he had the IRA mortar 10 downing street in 1991, provided $10,000 pensions to the families of Paletinian suicide bombers, sheltered several major terrorists including Abu Nidal and plotted to kill George Bush snr (for which Bill Clinton fired a load of cruise missiles at Baghdad).

    Incidentally Britian didn't 'give' Saddam weapons either. We sold him a few machine tools. His war machine was equipped with Chinese, Soviet and French equipment. Even the US sold him less weapons than Brazil. I can post the UN report on where his weapons came from if you care.

  • Comment number 100.

    #64. At 1:09pm on 25 Mar 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:
    ....... I did not consent and I refuse to accept the destruction of freedom in the name of salvation from an unknown undefined fear! I will not live in fear of the State!

    ----------------------------------------

    No one is asking you to.

    As far as the question "Should anti-terrorism laws be reviewed?" is concerned, my answer would be yes, they should be reviewed periodically to see if they are working, and to see if any part of them need to be amended.

 

Page 1 of 4

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.