The UK Prime Minister has announced an anti-terror task force to clamp down on the “poisonous narratives” of radical preachers who target recruits in schools, jails and mosques. However, some fear the government’s efforts could actually worsen extremism.
According to the Daily Mail, the unit was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in the wake of the brutal murder of Lee Rigby, a 25-year-old drummer in the British Army. Rigby was beheaded in southeast London’s Woolwich neighborhood by two men who said the murder was motivated by the UK’s involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
The Tackling Extremism and Radicalization Task Force (TERFOR) will be composed of key Cabinet ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Home Secretary Theresa May and Chancellor George Osborne, as well as Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Director General of the Security Service Andrew Parker.
“We are looking at the range of powers and current methods of dealing with extremism at its root, as opposed to just tackling criminal violent extremism. And we will look at ways of disrupting individuals who may be influential in fostering extremism. We cannot allow a situation to continue where extremist clerics go around this country inciting young people to commit terrorist acts. We will do everything we can to stop it,” an unidentified source told the Daily Mail.
TERFOR will study a number of young people who have become radicalized, like Rigby’s murderers, the newspaper reported. The source stressed that “there is no question of restricting freedom of speech — this is about preventing people spreading the message of extremism and radicalization in a totally irresponsible and reckless way.”
- UK moves to gag ‘poisonous’ radical preachers, clamp down on Internet extremism (rt.com)
- David Cameron to launch new terrorism task force (itv.com)
- UK Prime Minister Cameron Vows to Gag Islamic Hate Preachers (thegatewaypundit.com)