Schools roll out terrorism rule book

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The Independent Online

Schools have become the new battleground in the police's fight to combat terrorism among Britain's youth.

Measures designed to stamp out Islamic extremism at the earliest opportunity have been agreed by senior officers and are now being rolled out across the country.

They include guidance for parents on how to stop children searching for extremist websites, and an anti-extremism agenda in "all state-maintained educational establishments" by 2009.

Yesterday's conviction of Hammaad Munshi, Britain's youngest terrorist, who was just 16 when he committed terror offences, will reinforce the importance of this work. Munshi was convicted of possessing a guide for making napalm. In June, two 19-year-olds were arrested during anti-terror raids on their homes in the West Country.

Sir Norman Bettison, the lead officer on preventing terrorism at the Association of Chief Police Officers, believes the new measures will help to combat violent extremism.

In June, when the Home Office announced plans to tackle the continued threat from terrorism, Sir Norman said: "We have seen, at first hand, how people who were our neighbours in West Yorkshire became involved in violent extremism, resulting in terrible loss of life on 7 July 2005. We need to do more to stop people from taking those first steps into the world of violent extremism."

Last year, the head of MI5 said teenagers as young as 15 are being groomed to carry out attacks. In his first speech after taking on the role, Jonathan Evans said terrorists were targeting children: "They are radicalising, indoctrinating and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism," he said. "This year, we have seen individuals as young as 15 and 16 implicated in terrorist-related activity."