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Islamic extremists infiltrated Oxford: Prof Glees

world Updated: Mar 15, 2007 18:50 IST

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Islamic extremists have infiltrated leading British universities, including the Oxford and the Cambridge, and are quite active on the campuses, a leading academic has said.

According to Prof Anthony Glees, director of Brunel University's Centre for Intelligence Security Studies, up to 48 British universities have been allegedly infiltrated by fundamentalists and the threat posed by radical groups must be tackled immediately.

He said the disbanded extremist group Al-Muhajiroun has infiltrated "the main campuses such as Cambridge, Oxford, the London School of Economics and Imperial College."

Following a report by Glees showing that 31 universities and colleges had hard-line Islamic groups within their campuses, the Department for Education and skills issued guidelines last year on dealing with extremism.

Student Islamic societies have faced growing scrutiny after it emerged that one of 12 men charged in connection with the alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airliners was president of the Islamic Society at London Metropolitan University.

A spokesman for Oxford University said "We always take any extremism seriously and work closely with the police on any form of extremism that might affect our students or staff."

A Cambridge University spokesman said he was not aware of any current extremist activity, but the university "remained vigilant".

The government's controversial guidance asked university staff to "monitor" student Islamic societies and report any "Asian-looking" students they suspected of extremism to the security services.