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Internet Islamic Extremism

Volume 586: debated on Monday 13 October 2014

13. What steps she is taking to tackle Islamic extremism on the internet; and if she will make a statement. (905436)

The Home Office works with the internet industry and police to restrict access to terrorist and extremist material. Since 2013, over 32,000 pieces of unlawful terrorist-related content have been removed from the internet. We are also working with industry to build the capacity and skills of civil society groups to counter online extremism.

My hon. Friend will know that the servers that provide this information and encourage people to become jihadist extremists originate abroad, often in countries over which we have no control, so could he explain in a little more detail precisely how we can stop those servers producing such websites?

My hon. Friend makes an important point. The counter-terrorism internet referral unit, which is at the heart of our response in taking down these unlawful websites, is working with the providers that are obviously hosting this material, and there are successes in taking them down. But he highlights the need for more to be done. That is what we are doing through discussions with the internet service providers and other EU partners as well, which is what I was in Luxembourg to do last week.

Many in Bristol, particularly within the Somali community, are concerned about the whereabouts of 15-year-old Yusra Hussien, who has disappeared and is rumoured to be on her way to Syria to try to join the jihadis. Her aunt has blamed internet grooming for her disappearance. What is the Minister doing to protect young people from that risk?

Obviously, we recognise the pressures and dangers that are on the internet. That is precisely why the counter-terrorism internet referral unit is doing the work that it is doing to prevent material from being there and it is working with the industry to filter out much of this material, which may not cross an illegality threshold. The hon. Lady highlights the broader need to work with families and communities, which we are doing, so that if people have concerns about an individual who may be at risk, they can come forward to report that, knowing that their concerns will be appropriately considered and support can be provided to help prevent that from happening.