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The Terrorism Act 2000

The Terrorism Act 2000 is the primary piece of counter-terrorism legislation and contains the most vital counter-terrorism measures.

The Act came into force in response to the changing threat from international terrorism, and replaced the previous temporary anti-terrorism legislation that dealt primarily with Northern Ireland.

The counter-terrorism measures

Making terrorist groups illegal (‘proscription’)

The Terrorism Act made it illegal for certain terrorist groups to operate in the UK and extended proscription to include international terrorist groups, like Al Qaida. Read more about illegal terrorist groups.

Enhanced police powers

Police were given greater powers to help prevent and investigate terrorism, including;

  • wider stop and search powers
  • the power to detain suspects after arrest for up to 28 days (periods of more than two days must be approved by a magistrate). This period was extended to 28 days under the Terrorism Act 2006   

New criminal offences

A number of new offences were introducing allowing police to arrest individuals suspected of:

  • inciting terrorist acts
  • seeking or providing training for terrorist purposes at home or overseas
  • providing instruction or training in the use of firearms, explosives or chemical, biological or nuclear weapons

See also

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