Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 6:46 pm ar 24 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 6:46, 24 Ebrill 2024

The SNP firmly supports this order as well, and believes that no organisation should be free to spread extremist hate and encourage violence in the UK, so it is absolutely right that the Terrorgram collective is proscribed as a terrorist organisation. I heard the Minister mention that Terrorgram is the sixth extreme right group to be proscribed and, as I understand it, it is the first online network to be proscribed in this way, and I welcome that he has taken that step.

Tech Against Terrorism, which also welcomed this proscription, has been tracking and reporting on Terrorgram’s content for some time and has stated that it sent alerts on this content to seven different platforms, only four of which have removed it. I understand from the explanatory notes that this order now gives the Government the power to compel platforms to take down such content. Has the Minister had any communication with Tech Against Terrorism, or has he instructed these platforms to take down this content, because it has no place on them, especially given this proscription order from today?

I understand that the Huffington Post has named a woman in the US, Dallas Humber, as Terrorgram’s propagandist and a narrator of some of its content. As this is, to some extent, an issue of human rights abuses, is it possible that we can look at proscribing an individual under our existing Magnitsky legislation? Could the Government put restrictions on this woman, who has been named as perpetuating hate online, or any other individuals who are involved in setting up this site? These people should not be allowed to travel around the world. If this women were to travel to the UK, for example, she could speak to people in the real world as opposed to just online. Will the Minister take that away and consider whether something of that kind is indeed possible?

Can the Minister give us an up-to-date assessment of far right groups, as the Government and the various intelligence agencies are picking up on this and giving it such a high priority, especially given the scenes that we saw on the streets of London earlier this week? Extremism does not begin with organisations such as Terrorgram or with the atrocities that people inspired by Terrorgram have committed. It starts at a much lower level, and people, via the algorithms that these sites use, get exposed to more and more extremist content. Has any work gone into tracing how some of these people got to very extreme content, and what steps could have been taken to remove content at a less extreme level before they got exposed to something that radicalised them to the point of carrying out atrocities?

There is prevention work to be done here. I have seen various cases where somebody came in with a concern about lockdown and is now a serious anti-vaxxer because they saw more and more extreme content, and then got exposed to more far-right content and more dangerous content as a result. There is a job of work to be done to deradicalise people who have been exposed to such material. What are the Government doing, and what thoughts do they have on how they might go about deradicalising those who have been exposed to far-right content? It is a very serious threat to our democracy and the safety of people, particularly minorities, in the UK. I do not think that it is quite being taken seriously enough.