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EXCLUSIVE: MPs call for new 'terror zone' to be used retrospectively on returned ISIS fighters

February 23, 2019

JUSTICE: MPs want Sajid Javid (right) to use new powers retrospectively (PA/BBC)

MPS have called on Home Secretary Sajid Javid to make new laws making it an offence just to travel to terror hotspots without a legitimate reason to be applied retrospectively.

The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act brought in last month means that most of the around 900 Jihadis who left the UK for Syria and Iraq to support Isis could have been prosecuted upon their return if it had been in force.

So far, around 400 have already come back, but only around 40 have been prosecuted and the Government has said the new powers will not be applied retrospectively to them.

DEMAND: John Woodcock MP made the point in Parliament 

John Woodcock, Barrow in Furness Independent MP this week asked Mr Sajid in Parliament: "The Home Secretary talks about people facing consequences for supporting terror, but he knows that far too many of them do not face consequences. 

"He talks about doing whatever it takes to bring people to justice, so why is he not making the very valuable designated area offence, for which many of us campaigned, retrospective? Does he really think that the law as it stands, under which people can go to Syria, make themselves jihadi brides and offer their support to foreign fighters yet not have their prosecution guaranteed, is strong enough? Surely it is not. What measures will he take?"

Mr Javid dodged the issue, saying: "These are far-reaching powers, and we tried to prepare a bill that had the support of the House while being well balanced and offering due process. As for the designated powers procedures, as I said earlier, we started work on that in anticipation of Royal Assent, which has now happened. We hope to bring an order to the House as soon as possible."

Last week the Sunday Express revealed that neither the police or Home Office would release details on all the 40 prosecutions and sentences received on grounds of "national security."

DETAILS: Matthew Offord MP wants more known about convicted Jihadis 

Matthew Offord, Hendon Tory MP pressed Mr Javid for the details in the same debate.

He said: "What offences were they charged with? How many have been convicted? 

Mr Javid again dodged the issue, providing no figures.

He said: "My honourable friend asked about those who have returned in recent years. In all those cases, we would seek to make sure, first, that that individual is questioned, investigated and, where there is enough evidence, prosecuted. We would seek to manage that return, so even if they are a British citizen, we can issue temporary exclusion orders. That will remove their passport and require them to travel on a specifically issued designated travel document into a specific port of entry."

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