[Daily Mail] Government officials have identified 25 hate preachers who face being silenced with new ‘Asbo’ style anti-terror orders, it has today been revealed.
Downing Street is to introduce the new civil powers, based on a dramatically revised definition of extremism, to target preachers who radicalise others.
The orders will bar people from preaching messages of terror and hate, associating with named individuals thought vulnerable to radicalisation, and from entering specific venues, such as mosques or community halls – in a similar manner to the orders used to ban yobs from certain areas.
The measures are part of an anti-extremism task force set up by David Cameron after the death of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.
Muslim converts Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, have been convicted of the brutal murder of the young soldier.
The pair were told they face life behind bars and will be sentenced in the new year.
The Sunday Times reports that Haitham al-Haddad, an Islamic scholar, is one preacher under scrutiny according to Whitehall officials.
The Palestinian, who is now based in London, heaped praise on Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, after his death.
In May 2011, he wrote: ‘He died as a Muslim and it is an established part of our Islamic creed that every Muslim, unlike the disbelievers, will eventually enter paradise.’
Whitehall officials told the paper they knew of 25 preachers that operate as ‘an informal network’ which collects and coordinates around study centres, institutions and universities.
They added that Anjem Choudary, a notorious hate preacher, is not one of the 25.
The 45-year-old former leader of Islam4UK, a banned Islamist group, refused to condemn the actions of Adebolajo and Adebowale following their conviction, instead blaming the barbaric murder on British foreign policy.
But the former solicitor, who provoked outrage with his comments on BBC’s Radio 4 show following the trial of the two men, has always been careful not to break the law.
As part of the new package of power to tackle extremism, the Government is also working with internet firms to remove hate-filled websites including material that would be illegal if published in the UK.
Family-friendly filters being made standard for web users to block porn will also be expanded to block extremist material, allowing concerned families and institutions to filter out such websites.
Speaking as he unveiled the plans Mr Cameron said: ‘This summer we saw events that shocked the nation with the horrific killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich and murder of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham.
‘These tragedies were a wake-up call for government and wider society to take action to confront extremism in all its forms, whether in our communities, schools, jails, Islamic centres or universities.
‘I have been absolutely clear that this is not something we should be afraid to address for fear of cultural sensitivities.
‘We have already put in place some of the toughest terrorism prevention controls in the democratic world, but we must work harder to defeat the radical views which lead some people to embrace violence.
‘The task force I set up has proposed a broad range of measures to counter the extremist narrative. When you look at this report, you can see a very clear analysis, a very clear definition of the extremism we’re talking about … now everyone can see what it is that we need to tackle.’
He added: ‘There are just too many people who have been radicalised at Islamic centres, who have been in contact with extremist preachers, who have come across material on the internet who haven’t been sufficiently challenged.’
‘Some institutions have wanted to get rid of radicalisers but haven’t had the means to do so,’ he added.
The task force includes Home Secretary Theresa May, Deputy Premier Nick Clegg, Minister for Faith Baroness Warsi, and has taken advice from police and intelligence chiefs.
Other proposals include legally requiring intervention by local authorities in 30 areas identified as radicalism hotspots.
The MailOnline has contacted Haitham al-Haddad for comment.