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Monday, October 03, 2005 

Five more foreign nationals held as "not conducive to public good".

Five foreign men were today facing expulsion from Britain after being detained in the latest operation aimed at people deemed to be a threat to national security.

The men were held in dawn raids led by the Immigration Service and backed by police this morning in London, the West Midlands and south Wales.

They are being held under the home secretary's powers, under the Immigration Act 1971, to deport individuals whose presence in the UK is not "conducive to the public good".

The latest operation brings the total number of men who have been detained under the act in recent months to 30. Seven men were detained under the same powers on September 15 and another 10 were detained on August 11.

The home secretary, Charles Clarke, has said that he will use his powers to expel foreign-born "preachers of hate" and other individuals considered dangerous to national security.

The operations are part of a government crackdown on extremists following the July 7 bombings in London by Islamist militants, which killed 56 people.

Some human rights lawyers have expressed fears that some of the men face being deported to countries with poor human rights records. The government says it is working on securing memorandums of understanding with countries where the men are from so that they can be returned safely.

After today's raids, the Home Office refused to disclose the names of the men who were held.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Immigration Act 1971 gives powers to deport individuals, and to detain them pending deportation. The Immigration Service has detained the five foreign nationals on this basis."

The spokesman said the men would be held in secure prison service accommodation.

If these men are such a threat to society that they need to be deported, it would be nice if the Home Office at least informed us who they are. How many more is No Trousers Charlie thinking of locking up? It also has still not been explained why these men cannot be tried in this country, or why what they are accused of doing cannot be disclosed. Not conducive to the public good is not an explanation, it's an excuse.

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