02 January 2019

Prevent strategy on radicalisation faces independent review

Security minister challenges critics to produce ‘solid evidence of their allegations’

.... Muslims groups have made it clear they have little or no confidence in Prevent, which over time has faced claims that it is more concerned with gathering intelligence than supporting communities.

Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said on Tuesday: “We welcome the government’s support for a review. However, those tasked with its implementation must have the independence, credibility and trust required to deliver it.”

Critics have called Prevent a “toxic brand” and argue that at its heart is an ideological purity test that means western foreign policy cannot be criticised and that the government is prepared to work only with those who do not challenge it.

But there is unanimity in counter-terrorism circles that it is needed to limit the threat Britain faces from Islamist terrorism as well as the rising menace of extreme rightwing terrorism.

On Wednesday the head of counter-terrorism policing, Neil Basu, revealed that 18 plots to causes mass murder on British soil had been thwarted since March 2017, of which 14 were Islamist and four rightwing. [The Guardian] Read more