British Prime Minister David Cameron has outlined a new plan to tighten anti-terror measures in the UK. It includes giving police temporary power to seize passports of suspected Iraq and Syria-bound Islamist fighters.
Addressing the House of Commons on Monday, Prime Minister Cameron announced measures designed to tackle the threat of radicalized Britons fighting alongside "Islamic State" (IS) militants.
"We need a tough, intelligent, patient and comprehensive approach to defeat the terrorist threat at its source," Cameron told parliamentarians.
"We will introduce specific and targeted legislation... providing the police with a temporary power to seize a passport at the border during which time they will be able to investigate the individual concerned," Cameron said.
He also said airlines will be legally obliged to hand over passenger lists to help identify Islamist fighters, otherwise they would be prevented from landing in Britain.
The announcement comes days after the UK raised its terrorism threat level to "severe" over concerns about possible terrorism plots by returning Islamist fighters from Iraq and Syria.
When the alert level was raised Friday, Cameron said that at least 500 people had left the UK, "to fight in Syria and potentially Iraq." One of them is believed to be the man who beheaded US journalist James Foley in a video published by IS in late August.
Cameron's coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, have been critical of the move and warned that banning British citizens from returning home would be similar to rendering them stateless, which is illegal under international law.
Meanwhile, the German government has also announced new measures in battling IS. German politicians backed a controversial plan Monday to supply Kurdish Peshmerga fighters with with 70 million euros ($92 million) worth of high-end military equipment.
hc/mg (Reuters, AFP)