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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Planet Normal: ‘Online radicalisation was always going to be a problem under lockdowns’

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world, and for Dr Rakib Ehsan, that includes the murky world of online radicalisation: “We’re living in a very different society now,” he tells the latest episode of weekly current affairs podcast, Planet Normal, which you can listen to using the audio player above. “That includes the nature and the scale of the terror threat in modern day Britain.”

“Online radicalisation was always going to be a problem under the lockdowns… and it is possible that that’s led to a shift in the nature of a terror threat.”

Speaking to columnists and podcast hosts, Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan in the wake of the abortive suicide bomb attack outside a Liverpool hospital on Remembrance Sunday, the Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism expressed concerns with referrals to the government’s anti-radicalisation Prevent programme: “Perhaps for fear of appearing racist or anti-Muslim, [organisations] may be more reluctant to refer a potential case of Islamist radicalisation, and I think that’s a very serious problem.”

At the heart of it, is a dangerous desire not to defend: “If our counter-terrorism efforts are plagued by the forces of tribal identity politics and political correctness, then that in itself is a terror threat,” he tells the podcast.

Listen to Dr Rakib Ehsan’s full interview on Planet Normal, a weekly Telegraph podcast featuring news and views from beyond the bubble, using the audio player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotify or your preferred podcast app.

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