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TERRORISM ACT 2006

UK Public General Acts

Version 13/04/2015

2006 CHAPTER 11

Default Geographical Extent: E+W+S+N.I.


  • Part 1. Offences
    • Encouragement etc. of terrorism
    • Preparation of terrorist acts and terrorist training
    • Offences involving radioactive devices and materials and nuclear facilities and sites
    • Increases of penalties
    • Incidental provisions about offences
    • Interpretation of Part 1
  • Part 2. Miscellaneous provisions
    • Proscription of terrorist organisations
    • Detention of terrorist suspects
    • Searches etc.
    • Other investigatory powers
    • Definition of terrorism etc.
    • Other amendments
  • Part 3. Supplemental provisions
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  • Version 30/03/2006

Introductory Text

Terrorism Act 2006

2006 CHAPTER 11

An Act to make provision for and about offences relating to conduct carried out, or capable of being carried out, for purposes connected with terrorism; to amend enactments relating to terrorism; to amend the Intelligence Services Act 1994 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000; and for connected purposes.

[30th March 2006]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1
Offences



Encouragement etc. of terrorism


1 Encouragement of terrorism

(1) This section applies to a statement that is likely to be understood by some or all of the members of the public to whom it is published as a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to them to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences.

(2) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he publishes a statement to which this section applies or causes another to publish such a statement; and
(b) at the time he publishes it or causes it to be published, he—
(i) intends members of the public to be directly or indirectly encouraged or otherwise induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism or Convention offences; or
(ii) is reckless as to whether members of the public will be directly or indirectly encouraged or otherwise induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate such acts or offences.
(3) For the purposes of this section, the statements that are likely to be understood by members of the public as indirectly encouraging the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences include every statement which—

(a) glorifies the commission or preparation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) of such acts or offences; and
(b) is a statement from which those members of the public could reasonably be expected to infer that what is being glorified is being glorified as conduct that should be emulated by them in existing circumstances.
(4) For the purposes of this section the questions how a statement is likely to be understood and what members of the public could reasonably be expected to infer from it must be determined having regard both—

(a) to the contents of the statement as a whole; and
(b) to the circumstances and manner of its publication.
(5) It is irrelevant for the purposes of subsections (1) to (3) —

(a) whether anything mentioned in those subsections relates to the commission, preparation or instigation of one or more particular acts of terrorism or Convention offences, of acts of terrorism or Convention offences of a particular description or of acts of terrorism or Convention offences generally; and,
(b) whether any person is in fact encouraged or induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate any such act or offence.
(6) In proceedings for an offence under this section against a person in whose case it is not proved that he intended the statement directly or indirectly to encourage or otherwise induce the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences, it is a defence for him to show—

(a) that the statement neither expressed his views nor had his endorsement (whether by virtue of section 3 or otherwise) ; and
(b) that it was clear, in all the circumstances of the statement's publication, that it did not express his views and (apart from the possibility of his having been given and failed to comply with a notice under subsection (3) of that section) did not have his endorsement.
(7) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years or to a fine, or to both;
(b) on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;
(c) on summary conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.
(8) In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44) , the reference in subsection (7) (b) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I1 S. 1 in force at 13.4.2006 by S.I. 2006/1013, art. 2(2)(a)


2 Dissemination of terrorist publications

(1) A person commits an offence if he engages in conduct falling within subsection (2) and, at the time he does so—

(a) he intends an effect of his conduct to be a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism;
(b) he intends an effect of his conduct to be the provision of assistance in the commission or preparation of such acts; or
(c) he is reckless as to whether his conduct has an effect mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).
(2) For the purposes of this section a person engages in conduct falling within this subsection if he—

(a) distributes or circulates a terrorist publication;
(b) gives, sells or lends such a publication;
(c) offers such a publication for sale or loan;
(d) provides a service to others that enables them to obtain, read, listen to or look at such a publication, or to acquire it by means of a gift, sale or loan;
(e) transmits the contents of such a publication electronically; or
(f) has such a publication in his possession with a view to its becoming the subject of conduct falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (e).
(3) For the purposes of this section a publication is a terrorist publication, in relation to conduct falling within subsection (2) , if matter contained in it is likely—

(a) to be understood, by some or all of the persons to whom it is or may become available as a consequence of that conduct, as a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to them to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism; or
(b) to be useful in the commission or preparation of such acts and to be understood, by some or all of those persons, as contained in the publication, or made available to them, wholly or mainly for the purpose of being so useful to them.
(4) For the purposes of this section matter that is likely to be understood by a person as indirectly encouraging the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism includes any matter which—

(a) glorifies the commission or preparation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) of such acts; and
(b) is matter from which that person could reasonably be expected to infer that what is being glorified is being glorified as conduct that should be emulated by him in existing circumstances.
(5) For the purposes of this section the question whether a publication is a terrorist publication in relation to particular conduct must be determined—

(a) as at the time of that conduct; and
(b) having regard both to the contents of the publication as a whole and to the circumstances in which that conduct occurs.
(6) In subsection (1) references to the effect of a person's conduct in relation to a terrorist publication include references to an effect of the publication on one or more persons to whom it is or may become available as a consequence of that conduct.

(7) It is irrelevant for the purposes of this section whether anything mentioned in subsections (1) to (4) is in relation to the commission, preparation or instigation of one or more particular acts of terrorism, of acts of terrorism of a particular description or of acts of terrorism generally.

(8) For the purposes of this section it is also irrelevant, in relation to matter contained in any article whether any person—

(a) is in fact encouraged or induced by that matter to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism; or
(b) in fact makes use of it in the commission or preparation of such acts.
(9) In proceedings for an offence under this section against a person in respect of conduct to which subsection (10) applies, it is a defence for him to show—

(a) that the matter by reference to which the publication in question was a terrorist publication neither expressed his views nor had his endorsement (whether by virtue of section 3 or otherwise) ; and
(b) that it was clear, in all the circumstances of the conduct, that that matter did not express his views and (apart from the possibility of his having been given and failed to comply with a notice under subsection (3) of that section) did not have his endorsement.
(10) This subsection applies to the conduct of a person to the extent that—

(a) the publication to which his conduct related contained matter by reference to which it was a terrorist publication by virtue of subsection (3) (a) ; and
(b) that person is not proved to have engaged in that conduct with the intention specified in subsection (1) (a).
(11) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years or to a fine, or to both;
(b) on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;
(c) on summary conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.
(12) In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44) , the reference in subsection (11) (b) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(13) In this section— “lend” includes let on hire, and “loan” is to be construed accordingly; “publication” means an article or record of any description that contains any of the following, or any combination of them— (a) matter to be read; (b) matter to be listened to; (c) matter to be looked at or watched.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I2 S. 2 in force at 13.4.2006 by S.I. 2006/1013, art. 2(2)(a)


3 Application of ss. 1 and 2 to internet activity etc.

(1) This section applies for the purposes of sections 1 and 2 in relation to cases where—

(a) a statement is published or caused to be published in the course of, or in connection with, the provision or use of a service provided electronically; or
(b) conduct falling within section 2(2) was in the course of, or in connection with, the provision or use of such a service.
(2) The cases in which the statement, or the article or record to which the conduct relates, is to be regarded as having the endorsement of a person (“the relevant person”) at any time include a case in which—

(a) a constable has given him a notice under subsection (3) ;
(b) that time falls more than 2 working days after the day on which the notice was given; and
(c) the relevant person has failed, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the notice.
(3) A notice under this subsection is a notice which—

(a) declares that, in the opinion of the constable giving it, the statement or the article or record is unlawfully terrorism-related;
(b) requires the relevant person to secure that the statement or the article or record, so far as it is so related, is not available to the public or is modified so as no longer to be so related;
(c) warns the relevant person that a failure to comply with the notice within 2 working days will result in the statement, or the article or record, being regarded as having his endorsement; and
(d) explains how, under subsection (4) , he may become liable by virtue of the notice if the statement, or the article or record, becomes available to the public after he has complied with the notice.
(4) Where—

(a) a notice under subsection (3) has been given to the relevant person in respect of a statement, or an article or record, and he has complied with it, but
(b) he subsequently publishes or causes to be published a statement which is, or is for all practical purposes, the same or to the same effect as the statement to which the notice related, or to matter contained in the article or record to which it related, (a “repeat statement”) ;
the requirements of subsection (2) (a) to (c) shall be regarded as satisfied in the case of the repeat statement in relation to the times of its subsequent publication by the relevant person.
(5) In proceedings against a person for an offence under section 1 or 2 the requirements of subsection (2) (a) to (c) are not, in his case, to be regarded as satisfied in relation to any time by virtue of subsection (4) if he shows that he—

(a) has, before that time, taken every step he reasonably could to prevent a repeat statement from becoming available to the public and to ascertain whether it does; and
(b) was, at that time, a person to whom subsection (6) applied.
(6) This subsection applies to a person at any time when he—

(a) is not aware of the publication of the repeat statement; or
(b) having become aware of its publication, has taken every step that he reasonably could to secure that it either ceased to be available to the public or was modified as mentioned in subsection (3) (b).
(7) For the purposes of this section a statement or an article or record is unlawfully terrorism-related if it constitutes, or if matter contained in the article or record constitutes—

(a) something that is likely to be understood, by any one or more of the persons to whom it has or may become available, as a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences; or
(b) information which—
(i) is likely to be useful to any one or more of those persons in the commission or preparation of such acts; and
(ii) is in a form or context in which it is likely to be understood by any one or more of those persons as being wholly or mainly for the purpose of being so useful.
(8) The reference in subsection (7) to something that is likely to be understood as an indirect encouragement to the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences includes anything which is likely to be understood as—

(a) the glorification of the commission or preparation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) of such acts or such offences; and
(b) a suggestion that what is being glorified is being glorified as conduct that should be emulated in existing circumstances.
(9) In this section “working day” means any day other than—

(a) a Saturday or a Sunday;
(b) Christmas Day or Good Friday; or
(c) a day which is a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 (c. 80) in any part of the United Kingdom.
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I3 S. 3 in force at 13.4.2006 by S.I. 2006/1013, art. 2(2)(a)


4 Giving of notices under s. 3

(1) Except in a case to which any of subsections (2) to (4) applies, a notice under section 3(3) may be given to a person only—

(a) by delivering it to him in person; or
(b) by sending it to him, by means of a postal service providing for delivery to be recorded, at his last known address.
(2) Such a notice may be given to a body corporate only—

(a) by delivering it to the secretary of that body in person; or
(b) by sending it to the appropriate person, by means of a postal service providing for delivery to be recorded, at the address of the registered or principal office of the body.
(3) Such a notice may be given to a firm only—

(a) by delivering it to a partner of the firm in person;
(b) by so delivering it to a person having the control or management of the partnership business; or
(c) by sending it to the appropriate person, by means of a postal service providing for delivery to be recorded, at the address of the principal office of the partnership.
(4) Such a notice may be given to an unincorporated body or association only—

(a) by delivering it to a member of its governing body in person; or
(b) by sending it to the appropriate person, by means of a postal service providing for delivery to be recorded, at the address of the principal office of the body or association.
(5) In the case of—

(a) a company registered outside the United Kingdom,
(b) a firm carrying on business outside the United Kingdom, or
(c) an unincorporated body or association with offices outside the United Kingdom,
the references in this section to its principal office include references to its principal office within the United Kingdom (if any).
(6) In this section “the appropriate person” means—

(a) in the case of a body corporate, the body itself or its secretary;
(b) in the case of a firm, the firm itself or a partner of the firm or a person having the control or management of the partnership business; and
(c) in the case of an unincorporated body or association, the body or association itself or a member of its governing body.
(7) For the purposes of section 3 the time at which a notice under subsection (3) of that section is to be regarded as given is—

(a) where it is delivered to a person, the time at which it is so delivered; and
(b) where it is sent by a postal service providing for delivery to be recorded, the time recorded as the time of its delivery.
(8) In this section “secretary”, in relation to a body corporate, means the secretary or other equivalent officer of the body.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I4 S. 4 in force at 13.4.2006 by S.I. 2006/1013, art. 2(2)(a)


Preparation of terrorist acts and terrorist training


5 Preparation of terrorist acts

(1) A person commits an offence if, with the intention of—

(a) committing acts of terrorism, or
(b) assisting another to commit such acts,
he engages in any conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention.
(2) It is irrelevant for the purposes of subsection (1) whether the intention and preparations relate to one or more particular acts of terrorism, acts of terrorism of a particular description or acts of terrorism generally.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I5 S. 5 in force at 13.4.2006 by S.I. 2006/1013, art. 2(2)(a)


6 Training for terrorism

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he provides instruction or training in any of the skills mentioned in subsection (3) ; and
(b) at the time he provides the instruction or training, he knows that a person receiving it intends to use the skills in which he is being instructed or trained—
(i) for or in connection with the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences; or
(ii) for assisting the commission or preparation by others of such acts or offences.
(2) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he receives instruction or training in any of the skills mentioned in subsection (3) ; and
(b) at the time of the instruction or training, he intends to use the skills in which he is being instructed or trained—
(i) for or in connection with the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences; or
(ii) for assisting the commission or preparation by others of such acts or offences.
(3) The skills are—

(a) the making, handling or use of a noxious substance, or of substances of a description of such substances;
(b) the use of any method or technique for doing anything else that is capable of being done for the purposes of terrorism, in connection with the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism or Convention offence or in connection with assisting the commission or preparation by another of such an act or offence; and
(c) the design or adaptation for the purposes of terrorism, or in connection with the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism or Convention offence, of any method or technique for doing anything.
(4) It is irrelevant for the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) —

(a) whether any instruction or training that is provided is provided to one or more particular persons or generally;
(b) whether the acts or offences in relation to which a person intends to use skills in which he is instructed or trained consist of one or more particular acts of terrorism or Convention offences, acts of terrorism or Convention offences of a particular description or acts of terrorism or Convention offences generally; and
(c) whether assistance that a person intends to provide to others is intended to be provided to one or more particular persons or to one or more persons whose identities are not yet known.
(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to [F1 imprisonment for life] or to a fine, or to both;
(b) on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;
(c) on summary conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.
(6) In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44) , the reference in subsection (5) (b) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(7) In this section— “noxious substance” means— (a) a dangerous substance within the meaning of Part 7 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (c. 24) ; or (b) any other substance which is hazardous or noxious or which may be or become hazardous or noxious only in certain circumstances; “substance” includes any natural or artificial substance (whatever its origin or method of production and whether in solid or liquid form or in the form of a gas or vapour) and any mixture of substances.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1 Words in s. 6(5)(a) substituted (13.4.2015) by Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (c. 2), ss. 1(3), 95(1) (with s. 1(4)); S.I. 2015/778, art. 3, Sch. 1 para. 1

Commencement Information

I6 S. 6 in force at 13.4.2006 by S.I. 2006/1013, art. 2(2)(a)


7 Powers of forfeiture in respect of offences under s. 6

(1) A court before which a person is convicted of an offence under section 6 may order the forfeiture of anything the court considers to have been in the person's possession for purposes connected with the offence.

(2) Before making an order under subsection (1) in relation to anything the court must give an opportunity of being heard to any person (in addition to the convicted person) who claims to be the owner of that thing or otherwise to have an interest in it.

(3) An order under subsection (1) may not be made so as to come into force at any time before there is no further possibility (disregarding any power to grant permission for the bringing of an appeal out of time) of the order's being varied or set aside on appeal.

(4) Where a court makes an order under subsection (1) , it may also make such other provision as appears to it to be necessary for giving effect to the forfeiture.

(5) That provision may include, in particular, provision relating to the retention, handling, destruction or other disposal of what is forfeited.

(6) Provision made by virtue of this section may be varied at any time by the court that made it.

[F2 (7) The power of forfeiture under this section is in addition to any power of forfeiture under section 23A of the Terrorism Act 2000.]

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F2 S. 7(7) inserted (18.6.2009) by Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 (c. 28), ss. 38(2), 100(5) (with s. 101(2)); S.I. 2009/1256, art. 2(c)

Commencement Information

I7 S. 7 in force at 13.4.2006 by S.I. 2006/1013, art. 2(2)(a)


8 Attendance at a place used for terrorist training

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he attends at any place, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere;
(b) while he is at that place, instruction or training of the type mentioned in section 6(1) of this Act or section 54(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11) (weapons training) is provided there;
(c) that instruction or training is provided there wholly or partly for purposes connected with the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences; and
(d) the requirements of subsection (2) are satisfied in relation to that person.
(2) The requirements of this subsection are satisfied in relation to a person if—

(a) he knows or believes that instruction or training is being provided there wholly or partly for purposes connected with the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences; or
(b) a person attending at that place throughout the period of that person's attendance could not reasonably have failed to understand that instruction or training was being provided there wholly or partly for such purposes.
(3) It is immaterial for the purposes of this section—

(a) whether the person concerned receives the instruction or training himself; and
(b) whether the instruction or training is provided for purposes connected with one or more particular acts of terrorism or Convention offences, acts of terrorism or Convention offences of a particular description or acts of terrorism or Convention offences generally.
(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to a fine, or to both;
(b) on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;
(c) on summary conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.
(5) In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44) , the reference in subsection (4) (b) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(6) References in this section to instruction or training being provided include references to its being made available.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I8 S. 8 in force at 13.4.2006 by S.I. 2006/1013, art. 2(2)(a)


Offences involving radioactive devices and materials and nuclear facilities and sites


9 Making and possession of devices or materials

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he makes or has in his possession a radioactive device, or
(b) he has in his possession radioactive material,
with the intention of using the device or material in the course of or in connection with the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism or for the purposes of terrorism, or of making it available to be so used.
(2) It is irrelevant for the purposes of subsection (1) whether the act of terrorism to which an intention relates is a particular act of terrorism, an act of terrorism of a particular description or an act of terrorism generally.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

(4) In this section— “radioactive device” means— (a) a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device; (b) a radioactive material dispersal device; (c) a radiation-emitting device; “radioactive material” means nuclear material or any other radioactive substance which— (a) contains nuclides that undergo spontaneous disintegration in a process accompanied by the emission of one or more types of ionising radiation, such as alpha radiation, beta radiation, neutron particles or gamma rays; and (b) is capable, owing to its radiological or fissile properties, of— (i) causing serious bodily injury to a person; (ii) causing serious damage to property; (iii) endangering a person's life; or (iv) creating a serious risk to the health or safety of the public.

(5) In subsection (4) — “device” includes any of the following, whether or not fixed to land, namely, machinery, equipment, appliances, tanks, containers, pipes and conduits; “nuclear material” has the same meaning as in the Nuclear Material (Offences) Act 1983 (c. 18) (see section 6 of that Act).

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I9 S. 9 in force at 13.4.2006 by S.I. 2006/1013, art. 2(2)(a)


10 Misuse of devices or material and misuse and damage of facilities

(1) A person commits an offence if he uses—

(a) a radioactive device, or
(b) radioactive material,
in the course of or in connection with the commission of an act of terrorism or for the purposes of terrorism.
(2) A person commits an offence if, in the course of or in connection with the commission of an act of terrorism or for the purposes of terrorism, he uses or damages a nuclear facility in a manner which—

(a) causes a release of radioactive material; or
(b) creates or increases a risk that such material will be released.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

(4) In this section— “nuclear facility” means— (a) a nuclear reactor, including a reactor installed in or on any transportation device for use as an energy source in order to propel it or for any other purpose; or (b) a plant or conveyance being used for the production, storage, processing or transport of radioactive material; “radioactive device” and “radioactive material” have the same meanings as in section 9.

(5) In subsection (4) — “nuclear reactor” has the same meaning as in the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (c. 57) (see section 26 of that Act) ; “transportation device” means any vehicle or any space object (within the meaning of the Outer Space Act 1986 (c. 38) ).

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I10 S. 10 in force at 13.4.2006 by S.I. 2006/1013, art. 2(2)(a)