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Terrorist groups, such as ISIL, are trying to radicalise and recruit young people through an extensive use of social media and the internet. Young people, some as young as 14, have tried to leave the UK to travel to join ISIL and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.
As with other online harms, every teacher needs to be aware of the risks posed by the online activity of extremist and terrorist groups. So says the start of a Government briefing note that’s aimed at head teachers, teachers and ‘safeguarding leads’ and provides advice about online terrorist and extremist material. It includes a short summary of some of the main ISIL propaganda claims and identifies social media sites which ISIL is using.
While the extremists use everyday websites such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, they encourage others to message them on closed peer-to-peer networks when asked for sensitive information, such as on how to travel to the region, and what to pack.
For the five-page document click this link – gov.uk.
If you are concerned that a child’s life is in immediate danger, or that they may be imminently planning to travel to Syria or Iraq dial 999 or call the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
London-based group Families Against Stress and Trauma (FAST) has designed an online guide for parents on the dangers of radicalisation, as well as producing a YouTube film with testimonies from parents whose children have travelled to Syria.