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May promises to eliminate neo-Nazi and Islamist extremism

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Home Secretary Theresa May has outlined fresh plans to tackle radical extremists including neo-Nazis in Britain.

She said the government intended to disrupt the efforts of Islamists and extreme groups by restricting their use of internet sites including social networks and by banning hate preachers from speaking in public.

Mrs May received a standing ovation from delegates at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

She spoke at length about the need to defeat extremist ideology and pledged to use “legal powers and technical capabilities” to do so.

The Home Secretary said: “We must do everything we can to defeat this ideology and prevent the radicalisation of young British Muslims.

“We are toughening up the charity rules and the powers of the Charity Commission, working with Ofcom to deal with extremist broadcasts, improving the inspection regime and strengthening the rules for schools.

“We are working with the Ministry of Justice to tackle radicalisation in prisons, demanding more from universities to prevent radicalisation on campus, and improving our ability to take down terrorist material from the internet.

“Since the start of this year, the police have secured the removal of more than 30,000 pieces of terrorist material. We have an established network of organisations that work with people who are drifting into extremism and violence.”

Mrs May said there was an increasing need to deal with non-violent extremists. She promised that the government’s Prevent counter-terror strategy would soon be developed to “undermine and eliminate extremism in all its forms - neo-Nazism and other forms of extremism as well as Islamist extremism - and it will aim to build up society to identify extremism, confront it, challenge it and defeat it”.

Other domestic measures will include extremism disruption orders, which will aim to prevent extremists from speaking in public and circulating ideas on social media.

Mrs May also referred briefly to the attack at the Jewish museum in Brussels and the perpetrator’s links to Islamic State terrorists.

On the threat abroad, Mrs May warned: “If ISIL succeed in firmly consolidating their grip on the land they occupy in Syria and Iraq, we will see the world’s first truly terrorist state established within a few hours flying time of our country.

“We will see terrorists given the space to plot attacks against us, train their men and women, and devise new methods to kill indiscriminately.

We will see the risk, often prophesied but thank God not yet fulfilled, that with the capability of a state behind them, the terrorists will acquire chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons to attack us.

“This is not somebody else’s battle. They have made clear their ambitions. And they have made us their enemies. And the lesson of history tells us that when our enemies say they want to attack us, they mean it.

“We must not flinch. We must not shy away from our responsibility. We must not drift towards danger and insecurity. While we still have the chance, we must act to destroy ISIL.”

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