Counterterrorism chiefs are to be told to stop portraying jihadists as victims of mental illness
Counter-terrorism bosses are instructed to stop treating would-be extremists as if they were mentally ill.
Instead, they should treat them as bad people who follow dangerous ideologies, a major report says.
The “back to basics” call comes from a review by Prevent, the government-funded counterterrorism program designed to root out would-be extremists.
The report by former Charity Commission chairman William Shawcross will also say that Islamist jihadists remain a greater threat than far-right extremists.
A source said: “The Shawcross review is a critical piece of work to bring Prevent back to its original principles of eradicating extremism and preventing people from turning into terrorists.
Mistakes have been made in the past, but this is about correcting them and getting back to basics.”
Potential extremists can be referred to Prevent by the police, teachers or local authorities.
But it has been criticized for failing to root out those who go on to kill – including Ali Harbi Ali, who murdered Tory MP Sir David Amess in October 2021.
Last year it was inundated with more than 6,400 referrals, including 2,000 boys identified as not a threat.
The long-delayed review follows concerns that Prevent officials are acting like social workers who consider those referred to them to be at risk or mentally ill.
It will even suggest that some Prevent-funded groups have promoted extremist narratives.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman supports the findings, The Sun on Sunday understands.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7311030/anti-terror-bosses-jihadis-mental-health/ Counterterrorism chiefs are to be told to stop portraying jihadists as victims of mental illness