Scheme to deradicalise Muslim Scots to be launched

June 14th, 2009 - 7:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Edinburgh (Scotland), June 14 (ANI): Scotland’s anti-terror chiefs have announced plans to launch a scheme to deradicalise Scots who have fallen prey to Islamic extremists.

According to The Scotsman, vulnerable individuals, including children, will be targeted under the plan, which is aimed at preventing disaffected young Muslims from becoming involved in terrorism.

The initiative, to be modelled on an English program, will also be open to people being lured into other forms of political violence, such as fanatics on the fringes of Scottish nationalism or the animal rights movement.

Authorities south of the Border last year revealed they had put in place secret measures to wean people off extremism.

Their scheme - the Channel Project - claims to have turned around more than 200 people believed to have been vulnerable to terror recruiters, either face-to-face or online.

Graduates of the program include a 13-year-old white boy who converted to Islam and became obsessed with beheading, and a 50-year-old man.

Now a senior civil servant in the Scottish Government has confirmed a “tartanised” version of the Channel Project will be launched.

Nick Croft, of the Preventing Violent Extremism Unit, told a terrorism conference last week: “Within the next six months we will see a Channel process come to Scotland.”

He was speaking after Aamer Anwar, a solicitor who has defended terror suspects, had told the same Edinburgh conference that there was little or no support for offenders or alleged offenders flirting with extremist ideas.

A Scottish Channel Project would see parents, teachers, social workers and others able to refer individuals for a whole variety of interventions.

Officials fine-tuning the project will have to wrestle with guidelines to separate those at risk of being lured into terrorism and those who have gone too far., such as Mohammed Atif Siddique, the student from Alva, Clackmannanshire, jailed for eight years for internet-related terrorist offences.

However, they would be building on British expertise, where 228 individuals have apparently been deradicalised.

However, English authorities have also identified individuals who could succumb to other extremists, including those on the far right. (ANI)

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