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Public emergency declared in UK

HT Correspondent (London, November 11)

Britain has been placed from Monday under a state of "public emergency" to enable internment without trial of suspected terrorists and foreign nationals. This order comes within 24 hours of the warning by the United States that Britain is the immediate target of Al-Qaeda. It will also cover those who may be suspected of planning or having committed terrorism abroad. Around 20 individuals in the UK have been identified by MI5 and MI6 as being involved in terrorism overseas. Most are wanted for specific acts but cannot be sent for trial abroad because of the European Human Rights Convention which forbids extradition of accused to countries which have capital punishment or are likely to torture them.

This unprecedented move by the Home Secretary David Blunkett, which has angered Muslims leaders here, will be followed by an anti-terrorist legislation. It is to be rushed through Parliament in the next four weeks.

-- Martin Thompson (, November 11, 2001

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