Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Anti-Terrorism Debates Matter

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Anti-Terrorism Debates Matter

Article excerpt

WE FACE today the extraordinary spectacle of antiterrorism legislation bouncing to and fro between the Houses of Parliament, as nine suspected terrorists are let out of jail.

A year after the Madrid bomb, it is vital not to dismiss the titanic struggle in Parliament last night over the Government's proposed new powers as political shenanigans that fail to reflect the dangers posed by potential terrorists in our midst. There are fundamental issues at stake here, and that is what rightly kept peers and MPs up all night in an epic battle against the Bill. The risks involved in detaining people who may be innocent, on the suspicions of the security services, are considerable. Secondly, the bail conditions - curfews, no internet access - imposed on the suspects released today are a powerful reminder that to deliver real public confidence that these people are no longer a danger, prison is a much better option. The way the Government ought to deal with terrorism suspects is to get them before a court of law on conspiracy or other criminal charges, and if found guilty, imprisoned. …

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