In a large scale scheme to combat radicalisation the British police force has marked two hundred children as potential terrorists over the past year and a half.
Some of them are only thirteen years old.
The police are trying to tackle growing feelings of hatred among extremist children. The highest level anti-terrorism officer, Sir Norman Bettison, made the announcement to the British newspaper The Independent.
To prevent children losing themselves in ‘radical Islamic rethoric’ or to prevent them from being recruited by extremists, the police approached teachers, parents and youth workers and asked them to be vigilant with regards to ‘extremist signals’.
Bettison said that it often starts with racism and a negative attitude towards the West. With the project, dubbed ‘The Channel Project’, the British police are trying to use families and clerics to influence the radicalising youths.
Bettison emphasises that the project is not aimed at targeting the muslim community, as some have suggested. He said ‘we would rather work at building relationships with the community.’
He went on to say that ‘with the help of muslims we can identify these children. The challenge is to interfere and help them, not to judge them but to help them get rid of their growing hatred and to prevent them for committing acts of violence in the name of some misinterpretation of a belief system.’