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Counter-terror chief says policing alone cannot beat extremism

Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer has said the police and security services are no longer enough to win the fight against violent extremism, and the UK must instead improve community cohesion, social mobility and education. In his first major interview since taking up his post last year, the Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Neil Basu told the Guardian that up to 80% of those who wanted to attack the UK were British-born or raised, which strongly indicated domestic social issues were among the root causes. Grievances held by people who were “malleable” to terrorist recruitment were highly dangerous, he said, calling for sociologists and criminologists to take a leading role in helping police tackle the problem. Basu, who is highly regarded in Whitehall, is seen as a potential next head of the Met. His comments are a significant break in tone, if not strategy, about how to combat terrorism and prevent […]

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Why is Sajid Javid so rattled by Cage?

Last Friday, the UK’s former home secretary Sajid Javid, who was appointed on Wednesday as chancellor in Boris Johnson’s new cabinet, delivered a speech at a London community centre in which he attacked several Muslim organisations using the “extremism” label. In today’s world, that is hardly unusual, since the term “extremism” has become broad and malleable in the hands of those in power. Cage was one of the organisations mentioned, which is also not unusual, especially when it comes to the Tories. But what Javid did, which none of his predecessors have done, is to openly declare his opposition to Cage and express, with evident frustration, the extent of our reach, and how he intends to curb our influence and success. Read more

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Patriotism possible sign of right-wing extremism in the army, document reveals

Patriotism is now regarded as a possible warning sign of right-wing extremism in the army, a leaked document has revealed. The leaflet, titled “Extreme Right Wing (XRW) Indicators & Warnings”, alerts senior defence staff to the signs of extremism and reminds them to watch out for individuals who idealise “white only communities”. Originally put together in 2017, the document advises officers to watch out for people who “use the term Islamofascism” and make “inaccurate generalisations about the Left”. Read more

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The British Army’s Guide For Spotting “Extreme Right Wing” Soldiers Has Leaked Online

An internal guide for British army officers to help them spot “extreme right wing” attitudes among soldiers — including naming specific views and behaviours towards Muslims, Jews, “the Left” and political correctness — has leaked online. The chart titled “EXTREME RIGHT WING (XRW) INDICATORS & WARNINGS” has been circulating since the weekend on UK far-right news and conspiracy websites. The Ministry of Defence has confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it is genuine. The 20-box ‘XRW chart’ lists a range of behaviours linked to extreme right-wing radicalisation, which officers should “look out for” in soldiers. Read more

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Newspapers help to radicalise far right, says UK anti-terror chief

Britain’s counter-terrorism chief has said far-right terrorists are being radicalised by mainstream newspaper coverage, while also criticising the hypocrisy of outlets such as Mail Online, which uploaded the “manifesto” of the gunman in the Christchurch terror attack. Neil Basu, one of Britain’s top police officers, said it was ironic that while newspapers have repeatedly criticised the likes of Facebook and Google for hosting extremist content, sites including the Sun and the Mirror rushed to upload clips of footage filmed by the gunman as he attacked two mosques in New Zealand. Read more

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Police enlist companies to spot extremism in workers

UK counter-terrorism police are working with companies including McDonald’s, Tesco and River Island on a training programme to help staff to spot early signs of violent extremism in fellow workers. Under the Home Office’s contentious anti-radicalisation programme, known as Prevent, state employees from teachers to local government workers and healthcare staff are already under a legal obligation to look out for those at risk of radicalisation and report any individuals showing signs of extremism. Read more

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Over £5 million awarded to community groups to fight extremism

Community organisations across the UK will receive more than £5.3 million for projects countering extremist views and to build resilience within communities, it has been announced. Minister for Countering-Extremism Baroness Williams awarded the funds as part of the Building a Stronger Britain Together programme, which aims to protect communities and empower them to challenge extremism. It funds more than 100 groups with grants of up to £200,000 and is estimated to reach around 175,000 people across the UK. Read more

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Sports groups score £400,000 funding boost to tackle extremism

Building a Stronger Britain Together, the government campaign to support organisations helping to protect their communities from extremism, has today (Friday 22 June) awarded a funding boost to sports community groups. The organisations, including England Netball, Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation and Southend United Community and Education Trust, will receive a share of £400,000 funding to create year-long sports-based schemes and support people who may be vulnerable to extremism. These range from boxing classes and football workshops to community engagement projects and table tennis sessions. Read more