Javid's new espionage bill to tackle threats

Tuesday 21st May 2019 14:15 EDT

Foreign spies in the UK maybe mandated to register their names in a list under a new espionage bill which aims to tackle threats from hostile states, as suggested by Home Secretary Sajid Javid. Asking Home Office officials and counter-terror police to "urgently review" the case for designating Syria as a terrorist hotspot, Javid emphasised for a particular focus on Idlib province in the north-west of the country and others areas in the north-east.

During his speech at New Scotland Yard in London, he spoke about how UK security services have foiled over 19 major terror attacks in the last two years and confirmed plans of designating parts of Syria and possibly West Africa as terror no-go zones for Britons.

"In the past two years they have foiled 19 major terrorist attacks - 14 of them Islamist and five of them motivated by extreme right-wing ideologies.

"Anyone who is in these areas without a legitimate reason should be on notice. I can also see that there may be a case in the future for designating parts of West Africa," said Javid.

This could see Britons in those areas who are not aid workers or journalists, for example, face up to 10 years in prison. The Bill aims to combat the threat of hostile states following the Salisbury chemical weapons attack, which has been blamed on Russia. Javid also revealed that he shared some of the concerns of UK allies, such as the US and Australia, over allowing Chinese company Huawei access to telecommunications networks.

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