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200 children identified as potential terrorists

world Updated: Mar 29, 2009 20:30 IST

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At least 200 schoolchildren in Britain, some as young as 13, have been identified as potential terrorists, prompting drastic new tactics to prevent teenagers becoming attracted to Islamic extremist ideology.

Sir Norman Bettison, Britain's most senior officer in charge of terror prevention, revealed the number, which had leapt from 10 children identified by June 2008.

"Channel project" had intervened in the cases of at least 200 children who were thought to be at risk of extremism, since it began 18 months ago. The number has leapt from 10 children identified by June 2008," Bettison was quoted as saying by The Independent newspaper.

Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain agreed that in recent years youngsters have been attracted by terrorist propaganda emanating from al-Qaeda-inspired groups.

".....Clearly in recent years some people have been lured by terrorist propaganda emanating from al-Qa'ida-inspired groups," he underlined.

"It would seem that a number of Muslim youngsters have been seduced by that narrative and all of us, including the Government, have a role to play in making sure that narrative is seen for what it is: a nihilistic one which offers no hope, only death and destruction," Bunglawala said.