Islamic extremists boasted of how they would never be thrown out of Britain yesterday as a promised crackdown by the Government turned into a shambles.
The hardliners taunted Home Secretary Charles Clarke after he promised action 'within days' to start deporting dozens of foreign preachers of hate living in the UK.
Headed by asylum seeker Yasser Al-Siri, who is suspected of involvement in a series of terrorist incidents, they gloated that lawyers would halt any attempt at their removal.
The Egyptian, who fled to London more than a decade ago and is wanted in the U.S., said: “I am not worried about expulsion. My legal team thinks it is impossible.”
Al-Siri's defiance came as Mr Clarke's plans were attacked by leading lawyers and moderate Muslims. They warned the deportations policy would breach international law, create massive confusion and turn Muslims against the Government.
Tony Blair first pledged tough action to remove hate preachers on August 5 before heading away on his summer break. Yesterday
Mr Clarke confirmed the wide-ranging list of 'unacceptable behaviours' which he said could lead to extremists being thrown out of the country or barred from entering in the first place, reports the Mail.
However, he faces a lengthy legal battle with human rights organisations after publishing the grounds on which he would use his powers to remove or exclude people whose presence in the country is not considered conducive to the public good.
Mr Clarke said the terrorism threat facing the UK was "real and significant" and the authorities had to do all they could to counter it.
"That includes tackling those who seek to foster hatred or promote terrorism, sending a strong message that they are not welcome in the UK," he said. "Individuals who seek to create fear, distrust and division to stir up terrorist activity will not be tolerated by the government or by our communities."
He said the list would make clear what behaviour was unacceptable and he would use his powers in a "measured and targeted way". Mr Clarke rejected concerns that the measures were designed to censor those with controversial views. "These powers are not intended to stifle free speech or legitimate debate about religions or other issues," he said
The measures were broadly supported by the opposition parties, with David Davis, the shadow home secretary, urging ministers to use them "robustly and effectively" and Mark Oaten, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, also welcoming the changes, informs Scotsman.
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