Of the 168 suspected terrorists arrested in the UK last year, one in eight was a child. As school and socialization were out of order for much of the year, officials warned that children were “being pulled against terrorist activities.”
A 14-year-old Islamist from Hampshire, a 17-year-old Neo-Nazi from Essex and a 15-year-old right-winger extremist from Derbyshire were all among the 166 people arrested for terrorist acts in Britain in the year to March. Of those 166 people, 21 – or one in eight – were children, an increase from 12 last year.
Children accounted for 5% of all terrorist arrests last year. This year, the figure rose to 13%.
These figures were revealed at a home office report published Thursday. The report also found that the majority of the arrested terror suspects were men over 30 years of age. Most were white (53%) followed by Asians (30%). However, the overall population statistics compare that Asians are three times more likely to be arrested for terrorist acts than the average Briton.
The report seems to confirm what Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu warned last year: that children locked up at home due to the coronavirus pandemic would create a “Perfect storm” of radicalization. At the time, Basu regarded the far-right as the most pressing terrorist threat facing Britain, noting that 10 out of the 12 under 18 arrested for terrorism tax in 2019 were linked to right-wing extremism.
“There has been a sharp increase in extremist material online in the last few years, and Covid-19 has meant that vulnerable people spend much more time in isolation and online, and with fewer of the protective factors such as schooling, employment, friends and family. can deliver, ” Basu remarked at the time. “More young people are drawn to terrorist activities,” he said.
The latest report does not mention the ideologies of the suspects, but notes that arrests of white suspects increased 12 percentage points compared to the previous year, and arrests of Asian suspects fell nine points.
Of the 168 people arrested in total, 13 have been convicted of terrorist offenses and two of non-terrorist offenses. 24 awaiting prosecution.
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