Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:36 pm on 4th March 2010.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Minister of State (Home Office) (Crime and Policing) 12:36 pm, 4th March 2010

The order is being debated and can be voted on. I have already told the House about the five suicide attacks, including one on the Ethiopian embassy; an attack on the United Nations development programme; a double suicide bombing against the African Union mission in Somalia; a suicide vehicle-borne device attack on 18 June 2009 against a hotel, killing the Security Minister and 30 other innocent individuals; and the responsibility for the attack on Mogadishu with 21 deaths. It is my opinion and that of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary that those incidents are evidence internationally of the intentions of the organisation. As I have said, I cannot comment on security matters in this country in detail, but we have made our assessment, based on that information, of whether the organisation should be proscribed.

I give my hon. Friend the assurance that it is open to the organisation-as it is to Islam4UK, which we proscribed only some four to five weeks ago-to apply to the Home Secretary for de-proscription. Proscribed organisations can test the Home Secretary's rationale on these matters and, if they are not content, they can appeal to the appropriate committee. The House, and the other place, also have the opportunity to vote on the order today. The safeguards are in place, so I ask the House for its support.

I know that many right hon. and hon. Members have constituents from Somalia or who look to Somalia as their ancestral homeland, and I want to assure them that the Somali community is respected and valued. It plays a positive part in our community and nothing in this order will prevent members of the Somali community from visiting Somalia or sending money to relatives. Nor will it prevent the Somali community from openly discussing issues pertinent to them or the situation in Somalia. Indeed, nothing in the order will stop any individual or organisation having a political view on the situation in Somalia as a whole-