Sajid Javid adds Hezbollah to list of banned terror groups
Hezbollah's political wing is among three Islamist groups to be proscribed in Britain as terror organisations, Sajid Javid has announced.
The Home Secretary said ministers could no longer determine between the Lebanese political party and the already banned militant wing and so would move to outlaw them altogether.
MPs are to sign off from Friday the decision, which would also ban African groups Ansaroul Islam and Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam Wal-Muslimin (JNIM).
The ruling would make it a criminal offence to be a member or invite support for the organisations and could lead to a prison sentence of up to ten years.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “My priority as Home Secretary is to protect the British people. As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security, whatever their motivations or ideology which is why I am taking action against several organisations today.
“Hizballah [Hezbollah] is continuing in its attempts to destabilise the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.”
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "We are staunch supporters of a stable and prosperous Lebanon.
“We cannot however be complacent when it comes to terrorism – it is clear the distinction between Hizballah’s military and political wings does not exist, and by proscribing Hizballah in all its forms, the government is sending a clear signal that its destabilising activities in the region are totally unacceptable and detrimental to the UK’s national security.”
Ministers say the ban on Hezbollah, which was founded during the Lebanese civil war in 1985, comes amid armed resistance to the state of Israel and its role in “prolonging” the Syrian war.
A separate order will also ban organisations including the Turkish Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party (DHKP) and a host of groups which act as aliases of Daesh from Tuesday.