Muslims who suddenly stop shopping at Marks & Spencer could be victims of radicalisation, Britain’s most senior Muslim policeman has warned.
Scotland Yard commander Mak Chishty said that teenagers who unexpectedly stop drinking, socialising with friends or wearing western clothes could also be becoming extremists. Mr Chishty said the danger of radicalisation in Britain today is so steep that he fears even his own children could be influenced by propaganda from terror groups.
The stark warning came as the Mr Chishty used a Guardian interview to justify more intrusion into Muslims’s “private space” to counter extremism. It comes with hundreds of Britain’s having fled to the Middle East to join Isis, also known as Islamic State, amid fears they could return to commit terrorist atrocities in the UK.
Britain’s security services have recently foiled a number of well-developed terrorist plots to kill policemen in central London. The current terror threat issued by the Home Office is “severe”. “We need to now be less precious about the private space,” Mr Chishty told the paper. “This is not about us invading private thoughts, but acknowledging that it is in these private spaces where this [extremism] first germinates. The purpose of private-space intervention is to engage, explore, explain, educate or eradicate.”