First online terror group proscribed in the UK

Terrorgram will become the sixth extreme right wing terrorist group to be banned in the UK.

First online terror group proscribed in the UK iStock

MPs have voted in favour of proscribing an online terror network, the first time an online group has received the designation in the UK.

Terrorgram will become the sixth extreme right wing terrorist group to be banned in the UK, on the list of 81 banned organisations.

It has published propaganda designed to incite followers to commit violence, and was credited by an attacker who killed two people in an LGBT nightclub shooting in Slovakia in 2022.

Support for the group will be illegal, with punishments of up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine.

During the debate on the motion in the Commons on Wednesday, Home Office minister Tom Tugendhat described Terrorgram as a “transnational, online network of neo-fascist terrorists who produce and disseminate violent propaganda with the aim of radicalising readers and encouraging individuals to commit acts of terrorism”,

He told MPs: “The message of hatred they preach is one of extreme white supremacism. They call not just for death and violence, but the collapse of western democracy itself, so that they might build a whites-only world in its place.”

He added: “The decision to proscribe Terrorgram demonstrates this Government’s commitment to defend the security of the LGBT community.

“Terrorgram hold vile antisemitic views. They have published propaganda material aimed at inciting violence against Jewish communities and the state of Israel, and most recently celebrated Hamas’ attacks on Israel, including endorsing the use of terrorism to target Israel and Jewish communities.”

Shadow Home Office minister Dan Jarvis welcomed the move and said more online groups should be proscribed in future “if necessary”.

He said: “We approve of this innovative action that will lead to the rightful prescription of Terrorgram because within legal frameworks, there must be an approach that is relentless, agile and cunning to defeat terrorist groups.

“And this applies to all terrorist groups as, regardless of whatever warped ideology they peddle, violent extremists across the spectrum continue to use online platforms to radicalise their support base and organise their activities, so we must prepare to prescribe more online groups if that is necessary.”

SNP home affairs spokeswoman Alison Thewliss highlighted that those who are radicalised by extremist online content begin with exposure to “lower level” content.

She said: “Extremism doesn’t begin with organisations like Terrorgram and the atrocities that people inspired by Terrorgram have committed, it starts at a much lower level when people via the algorithms that these sites use, get exposed to more and more extremist content.”

The motion passed unopposed.

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