The Independent

Surge in numbers of children monitored for ‘radicalism’

The number of children and vulnerable adults identified through a controversial government anti-radicalisation initiative as being at risk of being drawn into terrorism has surged by more than 25 percent in the past year, the Independent can reveal.

A graphic from a police guide for school staff showing possible indicators of 'radicalisation.

A graphic from a police guide for school staff showing possible indicators of ‘radicalisation’. [SOURCE: ACPO]

At least 940 people have been referred for assessment as potential violent extremists under the Channel programme since last April, according to figures obtained from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) via a Freedom of Information request.

They include 467 under 18-year-olds, representing more than a third of all juvenile referrals since Channel, which is primarily tasked with addressing Islamic extremism, was launched in 2007.

Continue reading

Standard
Al Jazeera

Somalis in UK fear ‘death sentence’ returns to Mogadishu

When Ismail finally touched down on British soil early last year after many months being smuggled over land and through the air from Somalia he believed he was finally on the verge of beginning a new life.

Several Somalis have been held in immigrant detention centres pending removal [Home Office]

Several Somalis have been held in immigrant detention centres pending removal [Home Office]

“The Britain I had in mind was one in which they welcomed people of different colour, different religion and different backgrounds and where human rights were respected,” Ismail, who preferred not to use his real name, told Al Jazeera.

“I wanted to live in a safe place where I could just study and work and help my family and support myself, so what happened to me was a big shock.”

Continue reading

Standard
Al Jazeera

Syrian aid volunteers face warzone dangers and risk of arrest

London, United Kingdom  British volunteers delivering aid and ambulances to Syria face the double danger of being attacked by regime forces and arrested on suspicion of terrorism on their return home because of irresponsible comments by public officials linking them to jihadist groups, representatives of Muslim charities have warned.

worldaidconvoy1

Ambulances driven by volunteers from the UK to Syria arrive at their destination in the rebel-held north. [World Aid Convoy]

Convoys largely funded by donations from Muslim communities in the UK have been departing regularly for Syria since the conflict began in 2011. The vehicles, driven by volunteers, are usually ambulances loaded with medical supplies, food packs and other aid, which are donated to hospitals in the rebel-held north.

But charities running the convoys are coming under increased scrutiny amid widely reported claims that Britons intent on fighting have used them as cover to travel to Syria, and that some have attended “terrorist training camps” with a view to carrying out attacks in the UK.

Continue reading

Standard
Exclusive

Hundreds of children monitored in UK counter-terrorism programme

Following my recent article for Al Jazeera on the British government’s Prevent counter-extremism policy and its impact on Muslim communities, I have now obtained official tallies of the number of children identified through the Channel programme as being at risk of being drawn into terrorism.

acpo-figures

Click the image to see ACPO’s full response to my Freedom of Information request.

One-hundred-and-fifty-three children under the age of 12 and hundreds more under 18 have been referred into the programme since its inception in 2007, according to figures released to me via a Freedom of Information request to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

The breakdown of figures shows that 690 children aged 12-15 and 554 aged 16-17 were referred up to January 2014. A further 2,196 people aged over 18 were also referred.

Continue reading

Standard