Social media terrorists 'could be targeted by drone strikes'

Posted On: 
11th January 2017

Terrorists who co-ordinate attacks on Britain through social media could be targeted by unmanned drone strikes, the Attorney General will declare today.

The Attorney General will say today: "The law has to keep up with the changing times"
PA Images

Jeremy Wright will say the frontline in war has “irretrievably altered” and that the rules dictating the use of drones must keep up with “changing times”.

In a speech in central London the Government’s top law officer will move to redefine how Britain determines an act of self-defence.

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According to reports he will say services like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are being used to “evade law enforcement, conceal those who would do us harm, and to inspire attacks... that previously would have taken months of planning”.

He will say: “The UK is a world leader in promoting, defending and shaping international law - and for the first time we are setting out how we determine whether an attack is imminent.

“We are a long way from being able to see troops massing on the horizon. The frontline has irretrievably altered.

“Technology has made it easier for terrorists to carry out attacks. The law has to keep up with the changing times."

Mr Wright will add: “The Government has a primary duty to protect the lives of its citizens. But it can only use lethal force where there is a clear legal basis for doing so.”

In September 2015 then-Prime Minister David Cameron revealed an RAF drone had killed two British jihadists in Syria the previous month.