UK security revamp aims to uproot Islamist threat

By REUTERS
June 7, 2011 14:35

British government due to announce overhaul in counterterrorism policy, sanctioning Muslim groups who don't work to combat extremism.

2 minute read.



CCTV footage of 7/7 London bombers

London Bombers 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

LONDON - Muslim groups which refuse to tackle militancy will have their funding cut in an overhaul of counter-terrorism policy, the government is due to announce on Tuesday.

More money will be spent on identifying threats in prisons, universities and the health service under a revision of the 63 million pound Prevent program.

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The review of the scheme, launched by the Labour government in 2007 to stop the growth of home-grown terrorism, was ordered after it was deemed to have failed to produce any discernible security benefits.

Home Secretary Theresa May will announce the policy changes to parliament later.

She has already said that up to 20 organizations funded under the program over the last three years could have their funding withdrawn.

The government wants to stop state funding from reaching "organizations that hold extremist views or support terrorist-related activity of any kind," according to extracts of the review seen by the Times newspaper.

Scrutiny of spending has been so lax that it is "possible that Prevent funding has reached extremist groups of which we are not yet aware," the paper quoted the review as saying.

In February, Prime Minister David Cameron called for greater scrutiny of state funding for Muslim groups.

He said groups considered for funding should be judged on whether they believed in democracy, universal human rights and equality of all before the law, as well as whether they encouraged integration or separation.

As part of the revamp the government will stop funding what it says are fruitless anti-radicalism projects overseas after admitting millions of pounds have been squandered.

In future, overseas funding "must wherever possible have a demonstrable impact on UK domestic security," the Times reported the review as saying.

Other strands of the review include giving more funding to work with militants in prisons and with released terrorist prisoners, to stop radicalization in universities.

The government is also expected to expand the Prevent program to include health workers who may be able to help identify those vulnerable to radicalization.



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