London: Two Islamist extremist groups -- UK-based Minbar Ansar Deen and Nigeria-based radical sect Boko Haram -- are to be proscribed in Britain under terrorism laws, making membership and support for them a criminal offence.
UK home secretary Theresa May has issued an order which, once approved by Parliament, will ban both organisations from operating in the UK from Friday, according to the Guardian newspaper.
Minbar Ansar Deen also known as Ansar al-Sharia UK promotes terrorism by distributing content through its online forum, which encourages individuals to travel overseas to engage in extremist activity, specifically fighting, the Home Office said.
The government said banning Boko Haram, which aspires to establish Islamic law in Nigeria, would prevent the group from operating in the UK and give the police powers to tackle any UK-based support for the group.
The penalties for proscription offences can be a maximum of 10 years in prison or a 5,000 pound fine.
Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the home secretary can proscribe an organisation if it is believed to be concerned in terrorism.
If approved by the Parliament, it will be a criminal offence to belong to or back Minbar Ansar Deen or Boko Haram, as well arrange meetings or wear clothing in support of them.
Other proscribed groups in Britain include Al Qaeda, al-Shabaab and Islam4UK.