The United Kingdom on Thursday reported a “worrying” increase in arrests of teenagers for terrorist offenses, linking the lockdowns put in place against the coronavirus and the recruitment of young people by organizations such as the Islamic State group.
In front of the deputies, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab noted an increase of 7% in December over one year of the “volume of terrorist content online” and “a worrying increase in the proportion of children and adolescents who are now arrested for terrorist offenses ”.
“Digital access” for terrorist organizations facilitated
According to Dominic Raab, the London police believe that the successive lockdowns established to fight the epidemic due to Covid-19 facilitate “digital access” for “terrorists” to “those who are probably most receptive to extremist stories”.
He cited the jihadist Islamic State (IS) group which he considers “the greatest terrorist threat, both domestically and abroad”. Labor MP Lisa Nandy, in charge of Foreign Affairs for the opposition, said she was “deeply disturbed” by the way in which young people were being targeted by ISIS during the lockdown.
The United Kingdom has been undergoing its third confinement since the beginning of January, with the closure of schools, set up to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 123,000 there. It has suffered several attacks claimed by ISIS in recent years.