Offenders convicted of training as terrorists will face life sentences under tough new proposals.

Ministers are also understood to be looking at ending automatic early release and introducing a "two strikes and you're out" policy for serious terror offenders.

Current sentencing restrictions that allow a maximum 14 year sentence for terror training offences would be increased to life for anyone jailed for weapons training linked to terrorism or for making or possessing explosives. Convicts would serve their full prison term unless a panel of experts deemed them fit for release. The worst terror offenders would automatically be given a life term for a second very serious offence.

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A Whitehall source told a national newspaper: "People want to know that those who commit, or try to commit, terrorist offences face the toughest punishments."