The former head of “Prevent” on how radicalisation can be counteredby Arthur Snell / February 23, 2017 / Leave a comment
At the beginning of 2008 I started a new job with a refreshingly clear objective: “to reduce the risk to the UK from radicalisation overseas.” As the head of Foreign Office “Prevent” counter-radicalisation programme I knew what I had to do. The hard bit was figuring out how. Radicalisation is something that happens in private places, in closed online forums and inside people’s minds. If we succeeded in preventing a future terrorist action, we would never know. When we failed to prevent an attack, it would be painfully obvious, as has become clear in recent days.
It is easy to get angry about Ronald Fiddler, aka Abu Zakariya al-Britani, a British terrorist and member of Islamic State who carried out a suicide bombing killing Iraqi soldiers near Mosul on Sunday, according to an Islamic State media release. In the ghoulish IS propaganda, Fiddler is seen grinning maniacally as he appears to be wired up to a car bomb. One’s sense of disgust only increases on learning that Fiddler had received £1m from the British government. You don’t have to be a Daily Mail reader to feel suckered.