Terrorism: 'It's better to remove a child from a family than let them live in a war zone'

Terrorism: 'It's better to remove a child from a family than let them live in a war zone'

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley gave a speech on terrorism

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Most people would agree it's better to remove a child from a family than allow them to be taken to live in a war zone.

That's according to Hannah Stuart, co-head of the Policy Exchange thinktank, where the leading UK counter-terrorism officer, assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, has given a speech.

He said convicted terrorist parents ought to be treated in the same way as parents who are paedophiles - by having their children taken out of their care.

Stuart told Mike Graham and Katie Perrior: "I think most people can understand that when the alternative [to removing children from families] is that children are taken, this isn't their choice, taken to live in a war zone...I think most people would agree that in those instances it’s the right thing to do.

"The family courts have issued guidance on how to handle these issues because it’s very, very sensitive.

"They really had to quite quickly grapple with this issue because all of a sudden [in 2014] there were arguably hundreds of individuals, many of whom were associated with Anjem Choudary's group al-Muhajiroun, who suddenly had this desire.

"It wasn't just about fighting for Islamic State. It was about living it, it was about promoting Islamic State as this ideal place to be [so] they didn’t want to just go as fighters, they wanted to take their families."

She added: "The courts were very careful to where they could, they would put alternative mechanisms, things like removing passports from families or in some cases, I've seen court transcripts where both parents have had electronic tagging."

Stuart also said when Rowley mentioned the far-right he didn't mean the threat is as serious as Islamic extremism but the "extreme right-wing is now trying to mobilise in this country."

Listen to the full interview above