IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Britain's anti-terror bill overcomes opposition

/ Source: The Associated Press

Prime Minister Tony Blair won the support of Parliament Friday for a new anti-terrorism law that will allow Britain to act swiftly against eight foreign terror suspects who had been granted bail.

The House of Lords approved new powers to order house arrest, impose curfews and electronic tagging without trial, after the government made concessions to end a bitter parliamentary deadlock just three days before similar legislation was to have expired.

The Prevention of Terrorism Bill, which also allows the government to ban terror suspects from meeting certain people or traveling and to restrict their access to the Internet or telephone later received the formality of royal assent to become law.

The new control orders are likely to be used first against the eight foreign nationals, including radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada who has alleged links to al-Qaida. The men have spent three years in a high security prison without charge but were granted bail at a special commission in London Friday.

Justice Duncan Ouseley set strict bail conditions for them, including a nighttime curfew, restrictions on whom they could meet and on their access to mobile phones and the Internet.

Qatada, described by a Spanish judge as Osama bin Laden’s “spiritual ambassador in Europe,” also was banned from preaching at mosques or leading prayers under the conditions of his bail.