U.K. Plans Crackdown on Convicted Terrorists After Latest Attack
Morning commuters walk across London Bridge in view of Tower Bridge in London, U.K. (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

U.K. Plans Crackdown on Convicted Terrorists After Latest Attack

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(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. is planning emergency laws to keep terrorists in prison for longer, after two people were stabbed in south London on Sunday by a man released only days earlier.

Under proposed legislation announced by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, convicted terrorists will be made to serve a minimum of two-thirds of their sentences -- up from half currently -- and will only be released under supervision from the parole board. The measure will apply retroactively, Buckland told the House of Commons on Monday.

“We will be doing everything we can to protect the public,” Buckland said. “We face an unprecedented situation of severe gravity, and as such it demands that the government responds immediately.”

The government is under pressure over the early release of prisoners following the attack in Streatham, which occurred just nine weeks after two people were stabbed to death by a terrorist near London Bridge. Usman Khan, the attacker in November, had been released a year earlier after serving half of a 16-year sentence.

In the incident on Sunday, police officers shot and killed a man Buckland described as a “known terrorist” who had been sentenced for distributing extremist material. He was released a week ago -- automatically under the law -- after serving half of his jail term and without a risk assessment.

“It’s something I do not accept, which is why today I’ve announced I’m going to act on it,” Buckland said.

After the London Bridge attack, during the general election campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to bring forward tougher punishments for convicted terrorists.

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