Convicted jihadists are to be banned from Christmas markets

Convicted jihadists are to be banned from Christmas markets and other crowded areas in terror crackdown in the wake of London Bridge attack

  • Justice Secretary Robert Buckland imposing the tough restrictions on extremists
  • It will see conditions tightened up for those released on licence from prison
  • Ministers fear a repeat of the terrorist attacks on Christmas markets in Europe 

The move comes after Usman Khan (pictured) stabbed two people to death and injured three others near London Bridge after being freed early from jail

Convicted and suspected jihadists will be banned from going to Christmas markets and other crowded areas in a terror crackdown.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland is imposing the tough restrictions on Islamist extremists in the wake of the London Bridge attack two weeks ago.

It will see conditions tightened up for those released on licence from prison after serving a sentence for terrorism or those placed on anti-terror orders because of insufficient evidence to prosecute them.

Jihadists will be banned from travelling to places where there are large gatherings, such as festive markets, sports stadiums and shopping centres.

Ministers fear a repeat of the terrorist attacks on Christmas markets in Europe over the past few years. In Berlin in 2016 a stolen lorry was used to ram crowds, killing 12, while last year five died in Strasbourg when a jihadist went on a shooting and knifing spree.

Mr Buckland has acted after Usman Khan, an extremist convicted of a plot to blow up the Stock Exchange, stabbed two people to death and injured three others near London Bridge after being freed early from jail.

The move is part of a major review of all 69 terrorists currently released on licence. Two are already back in jail for breaches of their conditions.

In Berlin in 2016 a stolen lorry was used to ram crowds, killing 12. Pictured: security and rescue workers tend to the area after the incident

Last year five died in Strasbourg when a jihadist went on a shooting and knifing spree. Pictured: French police officers stand guard near the scene of the shooting

Extra restrictions on travel have been imposed following discussions with counter-terror police, probation chiefs and the security services. 

These include a ban on travel to cities which they had plotted to attack. If they breach the ‘exclusion zones’, they will be thrown back in jail.

Mr Buckland told the Mail: ‘Christmas is coming so we are absolutely right to do this. Given what has happened, there will be much more comprehensive restrictions for these people.

Mr Buckland has acted after Usman Khan, (pictured) an extremist convicted of a plot to blow up the Stock Exchange, stabbed two people to death and injured three others near London Bridge after being freed early from jail

‘There will be tougher travel restrictions, stopping them going to crowded places such as Christmas markets. It’s important that we give the highest degree of confidence to the British people that they are protected from the people who want to inflict terror.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland (pictured) is imposing the tough restrictions on Islamist extremists in the wake of the London Bridge attack two weeks ago

‘We can’t let our way of life be undermined.’

Khan’s deadly rampage at a prisoner rehabilitation conference led to an outcry after it emerged he had been released half way through a 16-year sentence under guidelines brought in by Labour more than a decade ago. 

Boris Johnson has pledged that, if the Conservatives win a majority on Thursday, terrorists will serve all their sentence and no longer be eligible for early release.

Legislation aimed at tightening up the supervision of terrorists released into the community is also being looked at.

It stands in stark contrast to Jeremy Corbyn’s stance. In the days after Khan’s attack, the Labour leader said jailed terrorists should ‘not necessarily’ have to serve their full terms – fuelling accusations he is soft on terror.

Mr Buckland’s intervention came as the National Police Chiefs Council announced a free counter-terrorism training course is being offered online to all in the run-up to Christmas.

It is designed to teach the public how to spot suspicious behaviour and items and know what to do in the event of a major incident.

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