It is a very dangerous precedent. When Brown used anti-terrorism laws to freeze assets from Icelandic banks, he put the frighteners on us all. If Iceland can be labelled as a terrorist organization, then anyone can. These anti-terrorist laws pose a grave threat to civil liberties.
From the New York Times....
LONDON — No one disputes that Iceland’s economic troubles are largely the country’s own fault. But there may be more to the story, at least in the view of Iceland’s government, its citizens and even some outsiders. As grave as their situation already was, they say, Britain — their old friend, NATO ally and trading partner — made it immeasurably worse.
Icelanders have posted photos on a Web site protesting a decision by the British leader, Gordon Brown, to use antiterrorism laws to freeze the British assets of a failing Icelandic bank.
The troubles between the countries began three weeks ago when Britain took the extraordinary step of using its 2001 antiterrorism laws to freeze the British assets of a failing Icelandic bank. That appeared to brand Iceland a terrorist state.
"I must admit that I was absolutely appalled," the Icelandic foreign minister, Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir, said in an interview, describing her horror at opening the British treasury department’s home page at the time and finding Iceland on a list of terrorist entities with Al Qaeda, Sudan and North Korea, among others.