Why monitor the terrorist
This website was launched in
June 2005 by Statewatch
in association with the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities and
the Human Rights and Social Justice Institute,
London Metropolitan University, to monitor the largely secret
development of the policy of "proscribing" groups and
individuals connected with "terrorism" (see press release). For
updates since the launch, see latest
It provides detailed information
and analysis of the "terrorist lists" operated by:
- the United Kingdom, which introduced
proscription in 1974 for organisations in Northern Ireland, extending
it to foreign organisations in 2000;
- the United States, which introduced
the proscription of foreign terrorists groups in 1995;
- the United Nations, which introduced
proscription as part of the Taleban sanctions regime - freezing
the assets of suspected associates - and then extended it in
the aftermath of "September 11";
- and the European Union, which,
after incorporating the UN sanctions into EU law, introduced
its own "terrorist" list.
- see: current
Proscription, or "designation",
takes various forms and its legal effect differs according to
the jurisdiction, varying from complete bans for "terrorist"
groups that criminalise their members and supporters, to the
freezing of assets of individuals suspected of supporting terrorism.
Groups and individuals are added to the "terrorist"
lists on the basis of "intelligence" alone. The normal
judicial process governing such serious accusations, and their
prosecution, has been discarded. The UK and US governments are
obliged to "consult" with parliament and congress respectively,
though such consultation has been brief; the executive bodies
of the UN (Security Council) and EU (Council) agree their lists
on the basis of intelligence provided by their member states
without any parliamentary scrutiny. These lists and the related
sanctions are binding on all member states.
It is very difficult for those
included on the "terrorist lists" to have their names
removed or contest their inclusion. Those in the UK can appeal
to a security tribunal (government appointed judges, secret hearing
and secret evidence etc.) but the UN and EU lists contain no
mechanism of appeal to the courts whatsoever - groups and individuals
can only request individual member state governments to make
diplomatic representations on their behalf.
Proscription raises serious human
rights concerns and is clearly at odds with the European Convention.
Moreover, the lack of effective judicial remedies at the national
level and the minimal jurisdiction of the EU Courts mean that
no proscribed group has yet had full "access to court"
and the chance to challenge the underlying matters of law and
fact in full, whether domestically or in an international court.
Were the lists restricted to
"Al-Qaida", its known members and other groups most
people can agree are "terrorists", there would be less
cause for concern. But they are not - the lists are a recipe
for arbitrary and politically motivated decision-making. Hundreds
of groups and individuals have now been criminalised around the
world and the various lists are expanding as states attempt to
add all groups engaged in resistance to occupation or tyranny.
Those exercising what many people around the world see as a legitimate
right to self-defence and determination are increasingly being
treated - on a global basis - the same way as Osama Bin Laden.
This criminalisation extends
beyond the groups and individuals on the "terrorist lists"
to their supporters. The banning of "passive support"
goes as far as to criminalise all solidarity with any
of the groups named, regardless of the basis or motivation for
that solidarity. The effect can be devastating for entire communities.
See Statewatch analysis:
"Terrorising the rule of law:
the politics and practise of proscription".
Use the links on the left to
- the current UK, EU, UN and US
- a comparative overview of the
- legal analysis of the proscription
- challenges to proscription by
groups, individuals and their supporters;
- latest news and links to relevant
sources of information
This site does not cover the
"no-fly" lists operated by a number of countries including
Please send comments and/or material
for inclusion to email@example.com.
This research was produced as
part of the "Policy Laundering" project:
If you found the information
on this site useful, you are encouraged to support future research.