UK to label Hamas-backing Islamist group as a terrorist organization

LONDON — Hizb ut-Tahrir will be labeled a terrorist organization in the U.K. under plans unveiled by Home Secretary James Cleverly on Monday.

In a statement setting out the proposal, Cleverly described Hizb ut-Tahrir as an “antisemitic organization that actively promotes and encourages terrorism.” It praised and celebrated the violent Hamas attack against Israel on October 7, he said.

MPs must approve the proscription of the group under U.K. anti-terror laws, and will vote on the proposal this week, with ministers expecting the order to come into force Friday.

“Proscribing this terrorist group will ensure that anyone who belongs to and invites support for them will face consequences. It will curb Hizb ut-Tahrir’s ability to operate as it currently does,” Cleverly said in quotes issued by the Home Office. The department also said the group, which it describes as an “international Sunni Islamist political organization” had declared Hamas “heroes” on its website following the October 7 attack.  

Under the U.K. Terrorism Act, supporters of a proscribed group can face a maximum prison sentence of up to 14 years, and a fine of up to £5,000.

Other countries have already banned Hizb ut-Tahrir including Germany, Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan.