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Sweeping new powers in UK war on terror


Sweeping new powers in UK war on terror

Blunkett pledges huge increase in MI5 staff Phone tap evidence to be allowed in court

Gaby Hinsliff and Martin Bright Sunday February 22, 2004 The Observer

Terror suspects could be convicted on the evidence of 'electronic eavesdropping' of phone calls and emails under sweeping moves to combat the threat of an al-Qaeda atrocity.

In a blunt admission that the risk of attack remains 'real and serious', Home Secretary David Blunkett will pledge a massive staffing boost for MI5. Priorities will include linguists, translators and surveillance to help infiltrate overseas-sponsored terror networks in Britain.

Blunkett will also flesh out highly controversial plans for new anti- terrorism powers which would see suspects convicted on lower standards of proof than the criminal courts and of crimes not yet even committed - such as an intent to execute a suicide bombing.