A new law that would make it illegal to possess extremist material, such as videos of Islamic State beheadings, is being considered by the Government in the wake of 2017 London Bridge attacks, the British Home Secretary has confirmed, it was reported by The Guardian.
Khuram Butt, the ringleader of the atrocity, was known to have viewed terrorist propaganda online before launching the attack in which eight people were killed.
But at the victims’ inquests last year, the Chief Coroner, expressed concern that gaps in the legislation made it difficult to act against those possessing and viewing such material.
Mark Lucraft QC, recommended the introduction of a new law that would ban material of the “most offensive and shocking character”, putting it on a par with indecent images of children.
In her official response to the coroner’s report, published on Tuesday, Priti Patel said: “The Government accepts this recommendation and is currently considering the necessity for a further offence of possessing the most serious extremist material which glorifies or encourages terrorism.
“The Government notes the Chief Coroner’s comments regarding the evidence at the inquests, the existence of the offence for a person in possession of a prohibited image of a child, and the perception that the lack of a comparative counter-terrorism offence may sometimes prevent counter terrorism policing from taking disruptive action.”
Ms Patel added: “Our operational partners must have the tools and powers they require to tackle terrorism. Consideration is ongoing between the Home Office and representatives from Counter Terror Policing HQ as to whether there is a gap in the current legislation from an operational perspective.”
Eight people were killed and 48 others seriously injured when terrorists used a hired van to plough into pedestrians on London Bridge before attacking people at random around Borough Market on June 3 2017.