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UK government bans two Islamist organizations

Filed under: Europe

Tony McNulty, the British minister for counter terrorism and security has proposed banning two more militant Islamic organizations. In the wake of last week's attempted car bombings in London and Glasgow, McNulty has published a draft order in parliament to ban Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh and Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi in the country. They would join 44 other organizations already forbidden under the Terrorism Act, which prohibits belonging to, or encouraging, support for the groups. The two organizations have been associated with terror attacks in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but reportedly are not connected to last week's attempted terror attacks. "Proscription powers are a key tool in the fight against terrorism," McNulty said in a statement.

The new prime minister, Gordon Brown, has informed parliament that he wants to set up a National Security Council that includes all agencies and ministers dealing with security and anti-terrorism matters.

Meanwhile, Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip have released the abducted British reporter Alan Johnston, who had been held hostage since March 2007. The BBC correspondent told a Gaza City press conference: "They were often rude and unpleasant. They did threaten my life a number of times. There was one 24 hour period when they seemed to get very angry and chained me up but that only lasted 24 hours. It was like being buried alive and removed from the world, in the hands of people who were dangerous and unpredictable." (WJG)

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