March 28, 2009

In Britain, police target 200 children as potential terrorists.

Outrageous or quite justified?
The ["Channel project"]... asks teachers, parents and other community figures to be vigilant for signs that may indicate an attraction to extreme views or susceptibility to being "groomed" by radicalisers....

"One of the four bombers of 7 July was, on the face of it, a model student. He had never been in trouble with the police, was the son of a well-established family and was employed and integrated into society.

"But when we went back to his teachers they remarked on the things he used to write. In his exercise books he had written comments praising al-Qa'ida. That was not seen at the time as being substantive. Now we would hope that teachers might intervene, speak to the child's family or perhaps the local imam who could then speak to the young man."...

Once identified the children are subject to a "programme of intervention tailored to the needs of the individual". Sir Norman said this could involve discussions with family, outreach workers or the local imam, but he added that "a handful have had intervention directly by the police"...

"We are targeting criminals and would-be terrorists who happen to be cloaking themselves in Islamic rhetoric. That is not the same as targeting the Muslim community."


fcai said...

I am shocked! Shocked that there are only 200.

JAL said...

Seems like a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. (Try to intervene, that is.)

JAL said...

But then, I think Britain and Europe have a horrendous problem on their hands.

They need to thin the ranks by severly limiting immigration and actively deporting.

tjl said...

The State's intervention seems heavy-handed and Orwellian. On the other hand, if there's no intervention, someday the State may have to pick up the body parts.

I'm A Feline said...

One could argue that a child spouting terrorist rhetoric may be evidence of abuse, or an indication that the child may be in danger. But it's difficult to evaluate this proposal without knowing more.

For example, the young man whose notebook contained statements that allegedly praised a terrorist group: Did he write those statements in response to a classroom assignment about current events? Did he make them unprompted and apparently unrelated to anything else?

What sort of notebook was it? A classroom exercise book? An artist's sketchbook? A personal diary?

How old was that "child"? What standards should be applied to statements made by a child of 8, or a youth of 17?

James Yanke said...

Of course extremists seeking a "worldwide Islamic revolution" (sounds like fun) use their own children habitually- as human shields, propaganda props, and suicide bombers... WHY wouldn't you keep tabs on the little fifth-columnists hiding behind our western freedoms and rights?

In the Gaza Strip, where suicide-bombers are celebrated like sports heroes, every last resource is utilized in the fight against the Jews, including the lives and minds of their own children... a plentiful asset where the average family has 7-8.

No greater crime can be committed than the poisoning of a country’s future by instilling such a burden of hatred on the shoulders of its youth... and deeply damages the entire society for a generation, at least.

The repulsive child-abuse of Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV beaming shows like "Tomorrow’s Pioneers", featuring a faux-Mickey Mouse and a funny-bunny vowing to "kill the Jews and eat them" has taken the Palestinians' brainwashing of their children to a new low. This programming of the next generation of avengers only serves to worsen the ungovernable mess that is Palestine. The colorful shows have enacted for a 3-7 yr old audience the assasination of George W Bush, the killing of Danes in revenge for the Muhammad cartoons, and other fun-loving episodes.

Richard Dolan said...

There is an analogy (granted, imperfect) between the early intervention idea here and the one Glenn Reynolds linked to a day or two ago. He featured a video of Nathan Wolfe explaining his global viral intervention initiative, a program to track, identify and stop the spread of viruses for animals to humans, by studying the transmission process in Central Africa. Wolfe is interested in the process whereby retroviruses (e.g. HIV) and similar scourges (Ebola) spread from animals to the forest dwellers who hunt them for food, which is the first link along the path to transmission into the human population. Everyone at Wolfe's lecture applauds; the value of his work seems clear; and he is treated as a hero. I doubt that this police program would get the same reaction from that crowd, at least instinctively, if a police superintendent were making a similar pitch about this early intervention program. But it seems just as essential, as the Brits know from bitter experience.

The process of early intervention, for the purpose of prevention, always has its costs. It never leaves the social setting in the same condition it found it in, which of course is part of the point. And we talk about phenomena like recruiting children to function as terrorists as a form of social pathology, inviting a medical analogy. Despite the differences between the two settings, I suspect that programs to intervene and interdict the spread of socially destructive viruses might learn a thing or two from studying how the medical viral hunters go about similar work. This strikes me as a subject where people think they know more than they probably do. In all events, this British initiative is a step in the right direction of dealing with a problem that calls out for early intervention, rather than just more handwringing and moaning about it.

PatCA said...

"That was not seen at the time as being substantive."

That's the real problem. Obviously Britain needs to teach all students the basic values of a liberal western democracy and stop teaching the big lie of multiculturalism that all values are good and equal.

Once a teacher finds a kid that shows an appreciation of violence, though, she probably will need the police.

Maguro said...

Justified, I guess, but unlikely to work. Attempting to combat terrorism with well-meaning teachers and social workers just doesn't sound too promising.

The whole thing sounds a bit Orwellian, but also far too apologetic and cringing towards the Muslim community.

With the help of these communities we can identify the kids who are vulnerable to the message and influenced by the message. The challenge is to intervene and offer guidance, not necessarily to prosecute them, but to address their grievance, their growing sense of hate and potential to do something violent in the name of some misinterpretation of a faith

Address their grievances? How are they going to do that? The grievances these people nurse are far too grand for the local constabulary to "address".

It seems to me that exaggerated concern for Islamic sensitivities is the worst way to approach a culture that prizes strength and despises weakness. The Brits might take OBL's advice and try being the "strong horse" instead. If you have pride in your own culture, respect from others will naturally follow.

The Drill SGT said...

Britain is doomed unless they change their immigration policies that promote non-assimilation, and their education policy that devalues traditional "English" values and fosters multiculturalism.

They aren't accepting immigrants, they are importing colonists

traditionalguy said...

The Level of wishful thinking is amazing coming out of the UK these days. They really believe that they can defeat Mohammed's Armies of invaders and their exploding population of young soldiers by Assigning a few government Office Holders to have a conference and write up how valuable the conferences are. That's like stopping a shark attack by reading a book about shark love to the ocean. They are delusional beyond belief.

F15C said...

Our good friends are a couple and their two teenage children that moved to the U.S. from England about five years ago.

They believe their is no peaceful way to remedy the problems that unbridled immigration and government-encouraged and subsidized non-assimilation have brought to that nation.

The damage done to the indigenous people of England and their culture is probably irreversible = at least without a horrible civil war.

They also note that the financial bust is putting far more pressure on the government there than it is in the U.S. and that the exorbitant national deficits and debt there are pushing the country - financially speaking - toward third world status.

Most immigrants are utterly dependent on the government for their homes, spending money and health care (all of which are quite lavish by our welfare standards) that when - not if - the cutbacks happen there will be incredible violence.

And once the camel's back is broken, whatever straw caused it, will not matter. The country will be devastated.

Peter V. Bella said...

But then, I think Britain and Europe have a horrendous problem on their hands.

They brought this on themselves. They allowed these people to emigrate there with virtually no restrictions, they coddled them, and over the last few years even passed special laws just for them. This is what you get with unrestricted immigration.

Also, the Euro weenies have a very good record in appeasing terrorists. So if one country decides its time to fight back, so be it. It is for the children after all.

PatCA said...

They do have a horrendous and large problem; we have a smaller yet horrendous problem. Check out what your kids are learning in school or what's on TV.

Bobby Jindal and his wife were scolded on 60 Minutes for not retaining their Indian roots, for instance. Who would dare to ask this of anyone except a person of color?

ElcubanitoKC said...

Although I am always suspicious of government surveillance, I would like to point out that in most cultures and countries on this planet, no one is considered a "child" at 13.

blake said...


They also segregated them in the name of multi-culturalism.

fcai said...

We have the same problem here. Do not kid yourself - there are millions of muslims here now and many are actively working to overthrow the US government.

Did you see Cops tonight? The crazy muslim strangling women on the streets of Minneapolis? Hundreds of Somalis turned loose on that sorry city? That can't end well. They will never assimilate. They are primitive beyond belief.