Covid lockdown increased terror threat, Security Minister says

Covid lockdown increased terror threat and rise in risk of young people becoming radicalised, Security Minister says

  • The Security Minister has warned that lockdown has increased the terror threat
  • Damian Hinds had expressed his concern about the rise of Right-wing extremism
  • He also added there’s a rise in the number of young people referred to Prevent

Lockdown has increased the terror threat and helped a rise in the ‘dark journey’ to bedroom radicalisation of young people, the Security Minister has warned.

Damian Hinds said in recent years there has been a ‘shift’ in attacks being organised from global terror groups to ‘self-directed’ plots, and expressed his concern about the rise of Right-wing extremism.

He added there had been a rise in the number of young people referred to the Prevent scheme due to far-Right ideologies.

Damian Hinds, pictured, warned that lockdown has increased the terror threat and helped a rise in the ‘dark journey’ to bedroom radicalisation of young people

Since starting his post in August, the UK has had two alleged terror attacks – the killing of Tory MP Sir David Amess and a bomb outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Day.

Nearly two years of Covid restrictions may have contributed to the radicalisation of young people.

‘Clearly, logically, when you have more people who are spending more time in their bedrooms at their computer…you are going to get a growth in that tiny proportion of people for whom that is a dark journey.

‘And as you know, on the internet, if you start to make those kind of downward spirals, you can quickly accelerate with the material that you come across and the other people that you can come into contact with,’ Mr Hinds told the The Daily Telegraph.

Mr Hinds said: ‘Clearly, logically, when you have more people who are spending more time in their bedrooms at their computer…you are going to get a growth in that tiny proportion of people for whom that is a dark journey’ (file photo used)

He added these threats should be seen as ‘self-initiated’ rather than ‘lone wolf’ attacks due to the ‘particular image of a particular type of person’ the phrase conjures up ‘which isn’t necessarily accurate’.

The minister warned the change to self-styled attacks was nuanced – with Islamist terror groups such as Al Qaeda still a danger, while lone individuals may also talk to like-minded people, particularly online.

‘More young people coming on to the Prevent program have an extreme Right-wing mindset,’ the East Hampshire MP said, adding Islamist extremism terrorism remained ‘a potent threat’.

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