Terrorists in Pakistan and UK linked, says minister

British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said here on Monday that there were connections between terrorist organisations operating in the UK and Pakistan. Threats to the UK had connections here, she said, adding that threats to Pakistan had been traced back to the UK. Ms Smith was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a calligraphic exhibition held at the National Art Gallery.She said that the terrorist organisations represented a very small minority and were needed to be isolated and condemned collectively. She said Pakistan faced the major brunt and hundreds of its people died in suicide attacks last year. Many of the attacks had been against undefended targets and most of the causalities were innocent civilians. Ms Smith said that cooperation and dialogue between security agencies of the two countries were vital. Pakistani agencies have played a key role in important counter-terrorist investigations in the UK in recent years. She said that cooperation between the services of the two countries continued after the attacks in London in July 2005 and during the alleged operation to destroy airliners en route to the US in 2006. Ms Smith said she knew the new political set-up in Pakistan waned to do more. The UK had already provided extensive assistance to the Pakistani services. But, we will urgently consider what more can be done to further enhance our joint work, she added.

Smith targets internet extremism

The home secretary has outlined plans to target websites promoting extremism, as part of efforts to stop people being drawn towards radical groups. Jacqui Smith said she wanted to use technology to stop “vulnerable people” being “groomed for violent extremism”. Jacqui Smith said she wanted to use technology to stop “vulnerable people” being “groomed for violent extremism”. “Because something is difficult, that is no reason not to have a go at it,” she added. “The internet can’t be a no-go area for government.” Ms Smith is to discuss the plans with members of the communications industry. She will meet internet service providers and members of the Muslim community to discuss measures to block websites which promote terrorism. The home secretary said it would be possible to “learn lessons” about removing offensive material which was placed online.

Terror attacks: Parliament: Ministers step up Muslim hearts and minds campaign: Home secretary vows not to push through new laws: Praise for Islamic groups who condemned attacks

The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, relaunched the government’s hearts and minds campaign aimed at Britain’s Muslims yesterday, promising she would not rush through anti-terror legislation that might leave them feeling isolated in response to the foiled bomb attacks in Glasgow and London. But she and Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, hinted that the 28-day limit on detention without charge would either be extended or abolished by leaving the period of detention open ended. Ms Smith said: “There may well be a case for looking very carefully at the amount of time that we are able to detain people pre-charge in order to ensure the very best opportunity to bring convictions.” Lord Carlile said yesterday he favoured an end to detention limits balanced by stronger judicial oversight, a position rejected by David Davis, the shadow home secretary.