New measures to combat terrorism will be introduced to parliament by the end of this month, the Prime Minister has announced.
They will include powers to seize passports and to stop those who have joined terrorist groups returning from abroad.
In a speech to the Australian Parliament in Canberra, David Cameron said: “We have to deal with the threat of foreign fighters planning attacks against our people.”
The PM said the root cause of terrorism is not poverty or foreign policy, but “the extremist narrative” of hate preachers.
He said: “We must confront this extremism in all its forms. We must ban extremist preachers from our countries. We must root out extremism from our schools, universities and prisons.”
Under the new powers, police and border officers could temporarily confiscate a passport if they have “reasonable suspicion” that an individual is travelling abroad to engage in terrorism-related activity.
Those passports could be seized for up to 30 days with a magistrate’s review after 14 days – and they could be taken multiple times.
The individual would also be placed on a “no fly” list for the duration of the order.
As for suspected fighters who are already abroad, they could face an exclusion order, valid for up to two years and renewable after that, meaning they would be unable to return to the UK.
Those who persisted in trying to get back might then be escorted by UK authorities and could either face prosecution in the UK or be put on Terrorism Investigation and Prevention Measures (TPIMs)
David Cameron told the Australian Parliament: “Your Prime Minister has given a strong international lead on this, helping to galvanise the UN Security Council with a powerful address.
“Last month this Parliament passed new legislation to tackle foreign fighters. And we will shortly be introducing our own new Counter-Terrorism Bill in the UK.”
He added: “We must work with the overwhelming majority of Muslims who abhor the twisted narrative that has seduced some of our people. We must continue to celebrate Islam as a great world religion of peace.”
The fast-track Counter Terrorism Bill will also introduce new rules for airline carriers operating to and from the UK. Airlines will be compelled to use electronic data systems capable of receiving instructions to offload or screen any passenger.
The PM first outlined the new legislation in late August when the UK’s security threat was raised in response to fears over homegrown militants returning from terrorist groups abroad.
The Government hopes the proposals will pass quickly through Parliament and become law in January 2015.