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Under new guidelines, Britain will deport terror supporters

LONDON -- People who ''foment, justify, or glorify terrorist violence" will be deported and banned from Britain under guidelines released yesterday by the country's top law enforcement official.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke outlined new guidelines in the most detailed explanation to date of proposals announced earlier this month by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

On the new list of ''unacceptable behaviors" is using websites, writing, preaching, publishing, or distributing materials that ''seek to provoke others to terrorist acts" or ''foster hatred."

''Individuals who seek to create fear, distrust and division in order to stir up terrorist activity will not be tolerated by the government or by our communities," Clarke said in a statement. The measures are a direct result of last month's subway and train bombings in London, which killed 56 people, including four presumed bombers, and injured 700.

While human rights activists and others have criticized the measures, polls have shown overwhelming public support for tightening laws against religious extremism, even if that means limits on free speech and other civil liberties in a nation with a long tradition of tolerance.

''We recognize the sensitivities around the use of these powers and intend to use them in a measured and targeted way," Clarke said. ''These powers are not intended to stifle free speech or legitimate debate about religions or other issues. Britain is rightly proud of its openness and diversity and we must not allow those driven by extremism of any sort to destroy that tradition."

Clarke also said a ''database of individuals around the world who have demonstrated these unacceptable behaviors will be developed" and made available to immigration officers monitoring those entering Britain. He did not specify who would compile the list or how extensive it might be.

Clarke's statement did not refer to any particular religious or ethnic group, but all nine men suspected by police of carrying bombs last month are Muslim. In his statement on Aug. 5, Blair said he would ban two Islamic organizations from Britain and he said he planned to bar Muslim clerics who were ''not suitable to preach."

Clarke has since banned a radical Islamic preacher, Omar Bakri Mohammed, from returning to Britain from a trip to Lebanon. British authorities have also rounded up 10 men for deportation, including radical Islamic cleric Abu Qatada, who is allegedly closely linked to the Al Qaeda terror network and whose sermons were found in a German apartment used by several of those who committed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

''I see in this a war on freedom of speech," Azzam Tamimi, a senior leader of the Muslim Association of Britain, said in a telephone interview from Malaysia.

Tamimi also said the measures ''are not dealing with the real issue."

''Prosecuting people for their speech will not prevent a frustrated, angry young man from committing an act of violence," he said. ''They don't do it because someone tells them to. They do it because they have no hope."

Liberty, a human rights group in Britain, said that Clarke's statement did not provide assurances that those deported would not face torture in their home countries.

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