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New MI5 chief says terror suspects in Britain have doubled in the last year

Teens are being recruited to terror cause, says intelligence agency head. The government unveiled new security laws today.

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The new chief of Britain's intelligence service MI5 painted a troubling picture of growing terrorist threat in Britain, saying the number of suspects in the country has more than doubled in the past year – and that many of the new recruits are teenagers. The remarks came just a day before the unveiling of new antiterror laws, which have raised concerns about civil liberties.

The new security bill that was announced Tuesday, along with other new laws in a traditional speech by the Queen to Parliament, avoided the controversial issue of how long suspects could be held without charges, reports The Guardian. Instead, the government will "seek a consensus" on anti-terror laws.

The government will "seek a consensus on changes to the law on terrorism so the police and other agencies have the powers they need to protect the public while protecting essential liberties," the monarch told the assembled MPs and peers.
… The security bill, which the government hopes to publish by Christmas, aims to set up a sex offender-style register for terrorists released from prison, while other measures will prevent those convicted of terror offences from travelling abroad.

The Queen's speech also confirmed that the new bill will allow police to question "suspects about evidence that emerges after they have been charged, something not currently permitted." The law also seeks to "close a loophole in anti-terrorism laws, revealed earlier this year, in which police are not allowed to share fingerprints or DNA samples from terrorism suspects held under control orders," The Guardian reports.


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