Minister for Europe Jim Murphy Launches FCO Publication Engagement: Public Diplomacy in a Globalized World
British Embassy, Washington D.C., 7/10/2020
Foreign Secretary's Written Ministerial Statement on Terrorist Suspects (Rendition)
FCO, London, 7/3/2020
UK Government to Proscribe Hezbollah's Military Wing
Home Office, London, 7/2/2020
Prime Minister Gordon Brown: Security and Liberty Can Be Protected
10 Downing Street, 6/17/2008
UK Government Extends Pre-Charge Detention to 42 Days
10 Downing Street, 6/11/2020
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Terrorism is not a new phenomenon. But in the 21st century – as illustrated by Al Qa'ida and others – it has a distinctly global feel to it. The modern terrorist threat has become fluid and relatively unpredictable. And it is not a threat faced by the UK alone, although terrorist groups often target UK and other Western interests.
One of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's policy goals over the next five to ten years is to make the world safer from global terrorism. Since early 2003 the United Kingdom has had a long-term strategy for countering terrorism (known within the government as CONTEST). It aims to reduce the risk to the UK from international terrorism, so that people can go about their daily lives freely and with confidence. And the UK is committed to working with partners overseas to promote a sustained global commitment to combating terrorism.
UK Counter-Terrorism (CONTEST) Strategy
CONTEST is delivered working with stakeholders who include a range of government departments, emergency services, voluntary organizations, business sector and partners from across the world. It is divided into four principal strands: Prevent, Pursue, Protect and Prepare.
Prevent is aimed at tackling the root causes of radicalization of individuals, both in the UK and elsewhere, which sustains the international terrorist threat in the long term.
Pursue aims to reduce the terrorist threat to the UK and to UK interests overseas by disrupting terrorists and their operations.
Protect looks to reduce the vulnerability of the UK and UK interests overseas to a terrorist attack.
Prepare aims to ensure that the UK is as ready as it can be for the consequences of a terrorist attack.
Tackling the Underlying Issues of Terrorism
The UK understands that the only way to effectively address international terrorism in the long term is to address those factors that create conditions in which extremism can develop.
For the UK, that means acting in the context of the full range of foreign and intelligence policy and wider development objectives, both in and beyond the Muslim world. For example, new relationships have been forged with foreign intelligence and security services where little or no effective cooperation previously existed, helping to thwart attacks in Europe, North America, North Africa and South East Asia.
Engaging with the Islamic World and Preventing Extremism
The UK encourages a policy of constructive engagement with a wide range of groups and opinions. The Muslim scholars and thinkers the government is working with are among those most able to influence individuals who may be vulnerable to radicalization. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's work to help understand and contribute to the prevention of processes of radicalization forms part of the government's counter-terrorism strategy.
Following the attacks in London in July 2005, community-led working groups were set up to develop practical recommendations for tackling violent extremism. The government continues to work with individuals and organizations from across Muslim communities to implement the recommendations.
In 2006 the Department for Communities and Local Government was set up to create cohesion in all communities and work in partnership with them to improve their capacity to fight extremism.
"Violent extremism is a challenge that will last for some time to come. But I am confident that we have the right approach, the knowledge and the will to overcome it. And together, we can make our communities stronger and safer for years to come."
-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears, October 31, 2020
Preventing and Resolving Conflict
Preventing and resolving conflict through a strong international system is at the heart of the FCO's work and sits alongside our counter-terrorism efforts. The government is directly involved in conflict resolution and peace-building efforts in many parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East, the Balkans and Africa. This important work requires expertise, capacity and coordination, both within the UK and internationally. The UK has also been well placed in multilateral organizations like the UN, EU and G8 to encourage coordinated action against terrorism.
UK Anti-Terrorism Legislation
The legislative framework for preventing, protecting and pursuing terrorists and those who support terrorist organizations is complex. View the current UK terrorism legislation:
- The Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT)
- The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA)
- Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005
- The Terrorism Act 2006
- Counter Terrorism Bill 2008