UK to ban Islamist group al-Shabaab

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The UK government has said that it will ban the Islamist al-Shabaab group in the country, and designate it as being a terrorist organisation. The move was announced by UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

The ban needs to be approved by parliament before it can be implemented; however, the Associated Press reports that parliamentary approval is regarded as a formality, and the proposal will likely pass. The move would make membership in al-Shabaab illegal, and prohibit British residents from raising money for the group. Anyone found to be a member of the group could face up to a decade in prison.

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Johnson described the move as being "tough but necessary", and was "not a course of action we take lightly."

Al-Shabaab is a group that controls most of southern Somalia. A statement released by the group last month said that the "jihad of Horn of Africa must be combined with the international jihad led by the al-Qaeda network". According to the BBC, that was the first time the group linked itself to al-Qaeda.

Alan Johnson also recently banned another Islamic group, Islam4UK.

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