[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Brown outlines terror crackdown
Gordon Brown
Mr Brown highlighted the role of forensic accounting in tackling terror
Covert intelligence will be used for the first time to seize the assets of terrorist groups under new measures being outlined by Gordon Brown.

A new terrorism order will give the Treasury the power to stop funds reaching anyone in the UK suspected of planning terror attacks.

"There will be no hiding place for those who finance terrorism," he said.

The address will be seen as a further attempt by the chancellor to bolster his leadership credentials.

'Terrorist challenge'

Mr Brown, who is widely tipped as a successor to Tony Blair, said his department "will take the lead in targeting terrorist finance and abuse of the global capital system".

In a speech to the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank entitled "meeting the terrorist challenge", he emphasised the role of forensic accounting in tackling terror.

We will also target the financial transactions of terror suspects operating in the UK
Gordon Brown

He said the techniques have so far "tracked an alleged terrorist bomb maker" who used multiple identities, multiple bank accounts, third parties and third countries to purchase bomb making equipment, to an overseas bomb factory.

"Our aim is simple: just as there be no safe haven for terrorists, so there be no hiding place for those who finance terrorism," he said.

He compared the impact of forensic accounting to that of finger printing in the late 19th Century and DNA in the late 20th Century.

Combining the technique with the expertise of the private, financial and public sectors, could result in the creation of a modern equivalent of the Bletchley Park - the experts who cracked the Nazis' Enigma Code during World War II, he said.

This could be used to address "three of the most dangerous sources of terrorist finance" - charities, money service businesses and financial transactions.

Money laundering

Mr Brown said many charities and donors had been exploited by terrorists.

Bureaux de change, cheque cashers and money remitters, while legitimate, were under review because they were "known to be open to abuse as a source of terrorist finance", he said.

The government will introduce a licensing system, with more stringent requirements for firms to keep records and tougher action against non compliance.

"We are consulting now on new proposals against money laundering," said Mr Brown.

"We will also target the financial transactions of terror suspects operating in the UK.

"Tomorrow the Privy Council will lay before Parliament a new terrorism order which will give the Treasury the power to stop funds reaching anyone in the UK suspected of planning terror or engagement with terror ....

"For the first time we will use closed source evidence where it is necessary to take preventative action to freeze assets. This means acting on the basis of classified intelligence."

Control orders

To make the operation of the system accountable to Parliament, a special advocate procedure will be put in place to ensure "a fair and consistent hearing of cases".

Mr Brown said the government should be prepared to consider holding terror suspects for more than 28 days without charge if evidence shows it is necessary.

"Today we face terrorists who act without warning, who can take the lives of thousands in one act and who are willing not only to take the lives of others, but their own as well," he said.

"So we cannot now risk waiting for someone to commit an act. Indeed it would be a failure of our duty to protect people to do so."

Ministers were defeated over plans to increase the limit to 90 days, outlined in the Terrorism Bill.

The government said this amount of time was needed to carry out complex investigations, but critics argued this would be excessive.

Mr Brown also called on "moderate Muslims" to help "tackle at root the causes that risk driving people into the extremists' hands".


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Gordon Brown's Chatham House speech in full



SEE ALSO
Brown backed war 'at 11th hour'
09 Oct 06 |  UK Politics
Brown sets out leadership vision
25 Sep 06 |  UK Politics

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific