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Blair Unveils New Anti-terrorism Plans

British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday unveiled a series of plans to extend the government's powers to "deport any foreign national inciting extremism" and to refuse asylum seekers in Britain if they are found to advocate extremism.


"Deportation will include those fostering hatred, advocating violence and validating such violence," he said at a monthly press conference.


Some centers used by extremists will be closed, imams preaching extremism will be deported and current terrorist organizations in Britain or their successor group are to be banned, Blair announced.


The prime minister said a one-month consultation with other parties would be held on the new grounds for excluding and deporting people before new anti-terrorism legislation is passed in autumn.


Recognizing that current human right laws might stand in the way of some of the anti-terrorism measures, Blair said the human rights act will be "amended if necessary" to make deportations more straight forward.


Blair pleaded that the measures are not aimed in any way at "decent law-abiding Muslims" whose contributions to Britain are greatly acknowledged and welcomed.


But he also said that Britain's tolerance and good nature should not be abused by fanatic extremists who kill innocent lives.


Britain has surveyed practice and detailed experiences in other countries in drawing up a comprehensive framework for action in dealing with terrorism, he said.


In responding to al Qaida's video tape broadcast on Thursday in which one of the group's top leader Ayman al Zawahiri blamed Blair for the London bombings, the prime minister said Iraq, Afghanistan, or Palestine are not excuses to justify terrorism.

(Xinhua News Agency August 6, 2005)

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