The law relating to terrorism is harsh and below is set out the introduction (pre amble) to the legislation.
Such enquires involve people who are entirely innocent and the law is designed to extend normal investigation periods and detain suspects for far longer than is normally allowed.
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Terrorism Act 2000
An Act to make provision about terrorism; and to make temporary provision for Northern Ireland about the prosecution and punishment of certain offences, the preservation of peace and the maintenance of order enacts as follows:-
Terrorism Act 2000, s.1
(1) In this Act "terrorism" means the use or threat of action where -
(a) the action falls within subsection (2)
(b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
(c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.
(2) Action falls within this subsection if it -
(a) involves serious violence against a person,
(b) involves serious damage to property,
(c) endangers a person's life, other than that of the person committing the action,
(d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or
(e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.
(3) The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.
(4) In this section -
(a) "action" includes action outside the United Kingdom,
(b) a reference to any person or to property is a reference to any person, or to property, wherever situated,
(c) a reference to the public includes a reference to the public of a country other than the United Kingdom, and
(d) "the government" means the government of the United Kingdom, of a Part of the United Kingdom or of a country other than the United Kingdom.
(5) In this Act a reference to action taken for the purposes of terrorism includes a reference to action taken for the benefit of a proscribed organisation.
The reference to the government of a country other than the United Kingdom is not limited to countries governed by democratic or representative principles: R. v. F In R. (on the application of Islamic Human Rights Commission) v. Civil Aviation Authority Ouseley J. said that the words of the definition of "terrorism" in this section, taken by themselves, were, by reason of subsection (3), wide enough to cover all lawful acts of war. However, he rejected a submission that they covered certain actions of Israel in Lebanon and Palestine. Beyond saying that it was "misconceived", he gave no reasons for this conclusion, save that it may perhaps be inferred that he took the view that lawful acts of war were impliedly excluded.
Terrorism Act 2000, s.3
(1) For the purposes of this Act an organisation is proscribed if -
(a) it is listed in Schedule 2, or
(b) it operates under the same name as an organisation listed in that Schedule.
(2) Subsection (1)(b) shall not apply in relation to an organisation listed in Schedule 2 if its entry is the subject of a note in that Schedule.
(3) The Secretary of State may by order -
(a) add an organisation to Schedule 2;
(b) remove an organisation from that Schedule;
(c) amend that Schedule in some other way.
(4) The Secretary of state may exercise his power under subsection (3)(a) in respect of an organisation only if he believes that it is concerned in terrorism.
(5) For the purposes of subsection (4) an organisation is concerned in terrorism if it -
(a) commits or participates in acts of terrorism,
(b) prepares for terrorism,
(c) promotes or encourages terrorism, or
(d) is otherwise concerned in terrorism.
(5A) The cases in which an organisation promotes or encourages terrorism for the purposes of subsection (5)(c) include any case in which activities of the organisation -
(a) include the unlawful glorification of the commission or preparation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) of acts of terrorism; or
(b) are carried out in a manner that ensures that the organisation is associated with statements containing any such glorification.
(5B) The glorification of any conduct is unlawful for the purposes of subsection (5A) if there are persons who may become aware of it who could reasonably be expected to infer that what is being glorified, is being glorified as -
(a) conduct that should be emulated in existing circumstances, or
(b) conduct that is illustrative of a type of conduct that should be so emulated.
(5C) In this section -
"glorification" includes any form of praise or celebration, and cognate expressions are to be construed accordingly;
"statement" includes a communication without words consisting of sounds or images or both.
(6) Where the Secretary of State believes -
(a) that an organisation listed in Schedule 2 is operating wholly or partly under a name that is not specified in that Schedule (whether as well as or instead of under the specified name), or
(b) that an organisation that is operating under a name that is not so specified is otherwise for all practical purposes the same as an organisation so listed,
he may, by order, provide that the name that is not specified in that Schedule is to be treated as another name for the listed organisation.
(7) Where an order under subsection (6) provides for a name to be treated as another name for an organisation, this Act shall have effect in relation to acts occurring while -
(a) the order is in force, and
(b) the organisation continues to be listed in Schedule 2,
as if the organisation were listed in that Schedule under the other name, as well as under the name specified in the Schedule.
(8) The Secretary of State may at any time by order revoke an order under subsection (6) or otherwise provide for a name specified in such an order to cease to be treated as a name for a particular organisation.
(9) Nothing in subsections (6) to (8) prevents any liability from being established in any proceedings by proof that an organisation is the same as an organisation listed in Schedule 2, even though it is or was operating under a name specified neither in Schedule 2 nor in an order under subsection (6).
An organisation that has no capacity to carry on terrorist activities, that has taken no steps to acquire such capacity or otherwise to promote or encourage terrorist activities and that has decided to attempt to achieve its aims by other than violent means cannot be said to be "otherwise concerned in terrorism", within the meaning of section 3(5)(d) even if its leaders have the contingent intention to resort to terrorism in the future; the nexus between such an organisation and the commission of terrorist activities is too remote: Secretary of State for the Home Department v. Lord Alton of Liverpool (contrasting such an organisation with one which has temporarily ceased terrorist activities for tactical reasons).
Terrorism Act 2000, s.10
(1) The following shall not be admissible as evidence in proceedings for an offence under any of sections 11 to 13, 15 to 19 and 56 -
(a) evidence of anything done in relation to an application to the Secretary of State under section 4,
(b) evidence of anything done in relation to proceedings before the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission under section 5 above or section 7(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998,
(c) evidence of anything done in relation to proceedings under section 6 (including that section as applied by section 9(2)), and
(d) any document submitted for the purposes of proceedings mentioned in any of paragraphs (a) to (c).
(2) But subsection (1) does not prevent evidence from being adduced on behalf of the accused.
Terrorism Act 2000, s.11
(1) A person commits an offence if he belongs or professes to belong to a proscribed organisation.
(2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to prove -
(a) that the organisation was not proscribed on the last (or only) occasion on which he became a member or began to profess to be a member, and
(b) that he has not taken part in the activities of the organisation at any time while it was proscribed.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable -
(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, to a fine or to both, or
(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six  months, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both.
(4) In subsection (2) "proscribed" means proscribed for the purposes of any of the following -
(a) this Act
(b) the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1996;
(c) the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1991;
(d) the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989;
(e) the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984;
(f) the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978;
(g) the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976;
(h) the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974;
(i) the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973.
[In subs. (3)(b), "12" is substituted for "six", as from a day to be appointed, by the CJA 2003, s.282(2) and (3). The increase has no application to offences committed before the substitution takes effect: ibid., s.282(4).]
Terrorism Act 2000, s.12
(1) A person commits an offence if -
(a) he invites support for a proscribed organisation, and
(b) the support is not, or is not restricted to, the provision of money or other property (within the meaning of section 15).
(2) A person commits an offence if he arranges, manages or assists in arranging or managing a meeting which he knows is -
(a) to support a proscribed organisation,
(b) to further the activities of a proscribed organisation, or
(c) to be addressed by a person who belongs or professes to belong to a proscribed organisation.
(3) A person commits an offence if he addresses a meeting and the purpose of his address is to encourage support for a proscribed organisation or to further its activities.
(4) Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (2)(c) in respect of a private meeting it is a defence for him to prove that he had no reasonable cause to believe that the address mentioned in subsection (2)(c) would support a proscribed organisation or further its activities.
(5) In subsections (2) to (4) -
(a) "meeting" means a meeting of three or more persons, whether or not the public are admitted, and
(b) a meeting is private if the public are not admitted.
Terrorism Act 2000, s.13
(1) A person in a public place commits an offence if he -
(a) wears an item of clothing, or
(b) wears, carries or displays an article,
in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to -
(a) imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months [51 weeks],
(b) a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or
Terrorism Act 2000, s.14
(1) In this Act "terrorist property" means -
(a) money or other property which is likely to be used for the purposes of terrorism (including any resources of a proscribed organisation),
(b) proceeds of the commission of acts of terrorism, and
(c) proceeds of acts carried out for the purposes of terrorism.
(2) In subsection (1) -
(a) a reference to proceeds of an act includes a reference to any property which wholly or partly, and directly or indirectly, represents the proceeds of the act (including payments or other rewards in connection with its commission), and
(b) the reference to an organisation's resources includes a reference to any money or other property which is applied or made available, or is to be applied or made available, for use by the organisation.
Terrorism Act 2000, s.15
(1) A person commits an offence if he -
(a) invites another to provide money or other property, and
(b) intends that it should be used, or has reasonable cause to suspect that it may be used, for the purposes of terrorism.
(2) A person commits an offence if he -
(a) receives money or other property, and
(b) intends that it should be used, or has reasonable cause to suspect that it may be used, for the purposes of terrorism.
(3) A person commits an offence if he -
(a) provides money or other party, and
(b) knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that it will or may be used for the purposes of terrorism.
(4) In this section a reference to the provision of money or other property is a reference to its being given, lent or otherwise made available, whether or not for consideration.
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