Islamist extremists face tough new terror crackdown: Report calls for a new focus on the threat and to end a ‘false equivalence’ with far-Right extremism
- New report expected to change Ministers’ Prevent strategy for terrorist actions
- Read more: Public Appointments Commissioner recused from BBC probe
Terrorists should not be able to blame their atrocities on mental illness, a review of the Government’s counter-extremism programme is expected to say.
The report will argue that tackling extremist ideology ought to take precedence over finding reasons to absolve terrorists of their crimes, it is understood.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman is due to accept its recommendations when it is laid in Parliament this week. The reforms are likely to take effect later this year.
The delayed report – by William Shawcross – is also expected to change Ministers’ Prevent strategy priority of tackling the ideological causes of terrorism, while guidance for staff will be overhauled.
He will call for a renewed focus on Islamist terrorism and radicalisation to end a false equivalence between that and far-Right extremism, it is understood.
Mr Shawcross is also expected to recommend that there is a focus on anti-semitism by the Prevent programme
Home Secretary Suella Braverman is due to accept the report’s recommendations when it is laid in Parliament this week
Sources said that Islamist extremism made up the majority of MI5’s caseload and carried the highest risk in terms of attacks and harm.
It could mean that Muslim groups accused of spreading Islamic extremism in the UK face tougher enforcement action and withdrawal of all public funds.
Some Muslim groups blamed for promoting extremism are expected to be named in the report.
Some have benefited from taxpayers’ money as part of Prevent’s £40 million fund, which is supposed to support faith and community groups that steer people away from extremism.
Mr Shawcross is also expected to recommend that there is a focus on anti-semitism by the Prevent programme.
The report was held up after Mrs Braverman and Michael Gove reportedly called for a toughening up of the Government response.
Prevent has been criticised for failing to stop some of the worst terror attacks in recent years.
Research has found that seven of the 13 terror attacks in the past six years were carried out by offenders known to the programme.
It is thought that the large number of referrals – some 6,406 last year – are distracting the authorities from identifying major terror threats.
A Whitehall source said: ‘Shawcross’s review is a crucial piece of work in returning Prevent to its original principles of rooting out extremism and stopping people turning into terrorists.
‘The Home Secretary is fully behind the recommendations and is grateful for Shawcross’s work.
‘Mistakes have been made in the past but this is about rectifying those and getting back to basics.’
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