A “prolific terrorist organisation” based in Pakistan has become the ninth outfit to be banned from operating in the UK.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had carried out bombings across Pakistan and was linked to last year’s failed Times Square terrorist attack in New York, Home Office Minister Damian Green told the Commons.
He successfully convinced MPs that a proscription order under the Terrorism Act 2000 should be placed against the group, banning it from operating in the UK.
Mr Green said the TTP had committed a number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including a suicide car bomb outside a court in March 2009 which killed 14 people and a bombing at a police station in September last year.
Seventeen people died in that bomb while it has also attacked a Nato convoy and the US consulate in Peshawar. “Having carefully considered all the evidence, the Home Secretary firmly believes that the TTP is currently concerned in terrorism,” Mr Green told MPs. “The TTP is a prolific terrorist organisation that has committed a large number of mass casualty attacks in Pakistan.
“They have announced various objectives and demands such as the enforcement of Sharia (law), resistence against the Pakistani army and the removal of Nato forces from Pakistan. Proscription will align the UK with the emerging international consensus against this murderous organisation.
“The proscription of the TTP will contribute to making the UK a hostile environment for terrorists and their supporters and show our condemnation of the terrorist attacks the group continues to carry out in Pakistan.”
He said the order will make the job of the police in disrupting the TTP easier, adding it was not representative of Pakistani or Muslim communities in the UK. The minister also admitted many groups tried to get round the Government’s orders by changing their names.
Shadow home office minister Shabana Mahmood said Labour supported the proscription order against the TTP but said she wanted to know what had become of Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global Islamic organisation.
Mr Green said that for security reasons he could not comment on whether Hizb ut-Tahrir was being considered for proscription.