I beg to move,
Seventeen people were killed and a number injured in the appalling attacks in Paris earlier this month, while in December we saw deadly and callous attacks in Sydney and Pakistan. There can be no doubt that the terrorist threat we face is grave and relentless. The threat level in the UK, which is set by the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, remains at “severe”, meaning that a terrorist attack in our country is highly likely and could occur without warning.
We can never entirely eliminate the threat from terrorism, but we are determined to do all to minimise the threat from terrorism to the UK and our interests abroad, and proscription is an important part of the Government’s strategy to disrupt terrorist activities. The two groups we propose to add to the list of terrorist organisations, amending schedule 2 to the Terrorism Act 2000, are Jund al-Aqsa, also known as the Soldiers of al-Aqsa, and Jund al-Khalifa-Algeria, also known as the Soldiers of the Caliphate. This is the 17th proscription order under the Act.
Under section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary has the power to proscribe an organisation if she believes it is currently concerned in terrorism. Given its wide-ranging impact, the Home Secretary exercises her power to proscribe only after thoroughly reviewing the available evidence on the organisation. The cross-Government proscription review group supports the Home Secretary in her decision making process. Having carefully considered all the evidence, the Home Secretary believes that Jund al-Aqsa and Jund al-Khalifa-Algeria are both currently concerned in terrorism.
Jund al-Aqsa is a splinter group of the al-Nusra front, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. Since September 2013, the group has acted against the Syrian Government. It is a foreign fighter battalion comprising a variety of nationalities, as well as a native Syrian contingent. The group is primarily operating in Idlib and Hama. It is believed to be responsible for the attack on
Jund al-Khalifa-Algeria is an Islamist militant group believed to be made up of members of dormant al-Qaeda cells. It announced its allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in a communiqué released on
In conclusion, I believe it right to add both groups to the list of proscribed organisations in schedule 2 to the Terrorism Act 2000. Subject to the agreement of this House and the other place, the order will come into force on