Image: England's Anti-Islamist Counseling Program 'Curing' Terrorists?
A French special police force prepares to enter an apartment in the 17th arrondissement of Paris where a man said he wanted to do 'like Mohamed Merah,' the killer of Toulouse, according to police sources. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

England's Anti-Islamist Counseling Program 'Curing' Terrorists?

Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012 01:27 PM

By LIGNET Wires

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Andy Polk, director of LIGNET’s London office, said this week that while the United States and the U.K. cooperate in preventing home-grown terrorism, the U.K. has more experience with radical ideologies, and a more effective way of dealing with would-be terrorists.

“The British have an intervention system,” said Polk. “So when they find someone who’s vulnerable or who is radicalizing, there’s actually a program that they can put them into, they can have a counselor who challenges world views.”

The counseling of aspiring terrorists is part of the U.K.’s counter-terrorism strategy, called CONTEST, which was brushed up and stepped up following the 2005 subway bombings in London that killed 52 and wounded 700. This was Britain’s wake-up call, and France, following the shootings of school children last month by French Algerian Mohammed Merah, is now looking to the U.K. as a model to combat home-grown terrorism.

The United States is looking to Britain also, says Polk, and considering a counseling program that could steer young American Muslims away from violent action.

Click here to read the full story and watch the interview with senior analyst Andy Polk at LIGNET.com.


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