Ministers have adopted a new language for declarations on Islamic terrorism. In future, fanatics will be referred to as pursuing
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said that extremists were behaving contrary to their faith, rather than acting in the name of Islam.
Security officials believe that directly linking terrorism to Islam is inflammatory, and risks alienating mainstream Muslim opinion.
In her first major speech on radicalisation, Smith repeatedly used the phrase "anti-Islamic". In one passage she said: As so many Muslims in the UK and across the world have pointed out, there is nothing Islamic about the wish to
terrorise, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief. Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic'.
The strategy emerging across Government is to portray terrorists as nothing more than cold-blooded murderers who are not fighting for any religious cause. Al Qaeda inspired terrorism is instead being described by key figures as "more like a
Last night the Home Office stressed that no phrases have been "banned". But senior Whitehall sources have made it clear that the "war on terror" and "Islamic extremism" will not be used again by people at the top of
Government or those involved in counterterrorism strategy.
In her speech, Smith said extremists who use the internet to radicalise young children would be pursued in the same way as paedophiles.
The Home Secretary described the internet as a key tool for the propagandists for violent extremism. Let me be clear: the internet is not a no-go area for government.
In the next few weeks, I will be talking to industry and, critically, those in the community about how best to do this - and how best to identify material that is drawing vulnerable young people into violent extremism. Where there is illegal
material on the net, I want it removed.
Illegal material will be tracked down and removed using tactics already deployed against online paedophiles. Those guilty of grooming youngsters for terrorism could face prosecution under incitement laws.
Smith said: If we are ready and willing to take action to stop the grooming of vulnerable young people on social networking sites, then I believe we should also take action against those who groom vulnerable people for the purposes of violent
Her plans also include a new unit to sift through intelligence gathered by police and security agents. The unit will be told to identify, analyse and assess not just the inner circle of extremist groups, but those at risk of falling under their
There will also be measures to restrict extremist material in libraries and galleries.
Meanwhile, internet service providers said that it was not their job to police the internet for offensive comment. They said they worked with charities such as the Internet Watch Foundation which monitored the web for such content and blocked
access to sites hosting illegal content where possible, but that censorship was a job for the authorities.
If we spent time searching the web's millions of pages for extremist content then we'd do nothing else, Jody Haskayne, a spokesperson for Tiscali, said. It's not an ISP's job to censor the internet.