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'Passports could be seized to fight terrorism'

Published:Wednesday | September 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM
British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) speaks with European Union (EU) President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, on the weekend.

LONDON (AP):Prime Minister David Cameron has proposed new laws that would give police the power to seize the passports of Britons suspected of having travelled abroad to fight with terrorist groups.

Speaking to parliament, Cameron said his government is also working on plans to block such suspected British jihadi fighters from re-entering the UK. The power to monitor such suspects who are already in Britain would also be strengthened.

The plans to widen Britain's anti-terror laws, which are likely to be approved by Parliament, are aimed at preventing attacks by Islamist militants returning from terror training in trouble spots in the Middle East.

Like other Western countries such as the US, France and Germany, Britain is worried that citizens who travel abroad to join terror groups could threaten their home country when they return.

Intelligence and security services suspect that around 500 Britons have gone to fight in Syria and potentially Iraq. Cameron has described the extremism posed by the Islamic State group as the biggest security threat of modern times, surpassing that of al-Qaeda and said it poses a direct threat to Europe.