Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:28 pm on 4th March 2010.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Conservative, Stone 1:28 pm, 4th March 2010

Keith Vaz has referred to cross-border activity, and I would like to invite the Minister to respond to one point. In the television programme that I saw a couple of days ago-which I can only take at face value-an organisation that I think was called the Islamic federation of Europe appeared to have a number of cells in Tower Hamlets and other parts of the country. It also appeared to be pretty endemic throughout Europe as a whole. In the context of considering whether to proscribe an organisation, and of the prevention of terrorism, we need to look at the objectives of any organisation or umbrella organisation that sympathises with-and/or has similar objectives to those of-the organisation being proscribed.

It is not simply a question of proscribing, but of preventing. I simply ask whether the Minister knows of any evidence that this federation, which was given one and a half hours on Channel 4 a couple of days ago, is in fact engaged in activities that are in any way inimical to the stability of the UK. I also ask whether and to what extent it is infiltrating the political system. The Minister's colleague, the Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Jim Fitzpatrick, was also on the programme. Is there any evidence of infiltration on the basis of what one might describe as a masquerade?

We would all utterly defend freedom of speech and freedom of election, but the question that lies at the heart of the issue is whether there was any attempt to delude the electorate into believing that they were taking part in a political choice, when the people standing or organising actually represented a different objective of a fundamentalist nature.