LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will on Wednesday unveil measures to rid the country of radical clerics who could inspire bombers like those who attacked London last month as part of a broad crackdown on Islamist preachers.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke will publish a list of "unacceptable behaviors" which would prompt immediate action — either deportation or a ban on entry.
A Home Office spokeswoman said the announcement followed a period of consultation which started earlier this month.
Behavior likely to be pinpointed are inflammatory preaching and publishing views which foster hatred or foment terrorism.
"I will be publishing, then acting upon, new ways of dealing with preachers of intolerance and hatred who try to exploit the openness of our society to oppress others," Clarke wrote in Monday”s Evening Standard.
Two waves of bomb attacks on London last month have sparked a raft of new anti-terrorism measures and British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said the "rules of the game are changing."
Earlier this month, Britain said it was detaining 10 people, including the alleged spiritual leader of al Qaeda in Europe, Jordanian national Abu Qatada, and pledged to deport them.
Britain has also barred hardline Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed from returning to Britain. The cleric has said he would not inform police if he knew Muslims were planning to bomb trains in Britain.
The government is seeking agreements like one it has struck with Jordan which allows British courts to deport Jordanians seen as a menace.
London says the agreement protects deportees from ill treatment but a United Nations human rights expert on Tuesday dismissed those assurances and urged the UK not to deport foreign Muslim militants to states suspected of using torture.
One individual who may be affected by any new measures is dissident Mohammed al-Massari who runs a website depicting beheadings and suicide bombings in Iraq.
The European Commission has said websites like the one run by al-Massari, who defended the insurgents in Iraq and their actions, encourage and motivate people to become terrorists.
Some of Blair”s anti-terrorism measures have angered civil liberties campaigners who argue they erode human rights and renege on international human rights commitments.
"What separates us from the terrorists is that we do not torture people or send them to be tortured," Gareth Crossman, policy director of Liberty said.
"If it is necessary to deport people we need more than self serving assurances to demonstrate that countries with appalling human rights records are safe."
But Blair has said he will override human rights laws if necessary in order to deport foreign nationals.