U.K. Terror Police Warn Lockdown Will Lead to Radicalized Kids

The coronavirus pandemic is causing a “perfect storm” of housebound youngsters being radicalized online, U.K. counter-terrorism police said Wednesday as they launched a site for anxious families.

A sharp increase in terrorist material on the internet and isolation due to lockdown are leaving children without the counterbalance of schools, colleagues and friends to prevent radicalization, said Neil Basu, head of counter-terrorism policing.

“We are seeing more young people being drawn toward terrorist activity,” Basu said in a statement. “In the last 18 months or so, 17 children under the age of 18 were arrested in relation to terrorism offenses, some as young as 14 years old.”

The Actearly.uk website launched Wednesday is designed to encourage concerned families and friends to seek professional support, police said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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