In an unprecedented move, the UK government plans to block the passports to teenagers in a bid to stop them from travelling to embattled Arab nations and joining terror outfits. In a speech to be delivered on Monday (19 October), Prime Minister David Cameron will provide some relief to parents unable to prevent their teenaged children from travelling to Syria or Iraq.
Under the Counter-Extremism Strategy, parents will be armed with the powers to approach authorities and block the passports of their radicalised children under the age of 18. According to excerpts from his speech, Cameron would say: "The government's new 'Counter-Extremism Strategy' is a clear signal of the choice we have made to take on this poisonous ideology with resolve, determination and the goal of building a greater Britain.
"And a key part of this new approach is going further to protect children and vulnerable people from the risk of radicalisation by empowering parents and public institutions with all the advice, tools and practical support they need."
To ensure that teenagers do not fall prey to militant radicalisation, Cameron will say that "anyone with a conviction for terrorist offences or extremist activity will be automatically banned from working with children and vulnerable people", Reuters reported.
In June this year, the British government estimated that as many as 700 Britons were headed to Syria to fight for Islamic State (Isis) terrorists. It also reckoned around half of them could be back in the UK. Similar reports suggest almost 2,000 British jihadis have joined IS to date.
In April this year, 17-year-old Hassan Munshi fled his West Yorkshire home to go to Syria via Turkey, while Abu Rumaysah al-Britani, another London-born jihadi, was believed to be in Syria. The latter had even authored a travel guide to the Islamic Caliphate that was seen online.