Committee launches counter-terrorism inquiry

23 July 2013

The Home Affairs Committee launches an inquiry into counter-terrorism.

The Committee's inquiry will focus on the Pursue strand of CONTEST which is designed to stop terrorist attacks. This follows on from the Committee's work on 'Prevent' in its inquiry into the Roots of Violent Radicalism in 2010. The inquiry examines how the UK police and security services work with foreign governments and international organisations, such as Interpol and Europol to counter terrorist activity.

Chair's comments

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"Terrorism devastates lives and can lead to fear which preys on the bonds that bind communities together. In recent years we have seen a number of convictions against those intending to carry out attacks within the UK  but this simply proves that we must remain ever-vigilant to prevent such atrocities from taking place. Following the recent attack in Woolwich and the warning from the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism that the nature of terrorist attacks in the UK are shifting from large-scale plots to smaller, simpler attacks, we feel it is the right time to re-examine how effective the Government is in stopping terrorist attacks."

Terms of Reference

The inquiry will consider:

  • Whether the UK has sufficient capability to detect, investigate and disrupt terrorist threats.
  • The effectiveness of the Government in working with foreign Governments and Multi-lateral organisations to counter terrorist threats at home and abroad?
  • Whether the UK effectively supports allies in building capacity to investigate and prosecute terrorists based overseas?
  • The monitoring of those linked to terrorist activities, both at home and abroad.
  • How effective TPIMs are as an investigatory measure.
  • The possible implications of moving responsibility for counter-terrorism from the Metropolitan Police Service to the National Crime Agency.
  • Whether the Charities Commission has reduced the ability of terrorists to obtain funding through charitable donations.
  • The work of the Financial Conduct Authority and HMRC in combating the use of British banks and money service businesses to launder and transfer terrorist funding.
  • Whether the Government has the capability to examine and combat the use of communications (including via the internet) in terrorism-related activities.

Written evidence is invited from interested parties. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is Monday 30 September 2013.

Further information:

Each submission should:
a) be no more than 3,000 words in length
b) be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible
c) have numbered paragraphs
d) include a declaration of interests.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and marked "counter-terrorism".

Please note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

The remit of the Home Affairs Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies.  

Image: PA

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