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To the UK’s counter-terror chief fighting terrorism must start with tackling social issues

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Tackling violent extremism in the United Kingdom shouldn’t rely on security measures only, the country’s counter-terror chief told the Guardian Tuesday. To Neil Basu, sociologists and criminologists must get engaged in the fight against terrorism in the UK and work on ways of «improving community cohesion, social mobility and education».

Extremism in the European country is linked to several social issues, according to Basu. He stressed that «up to 80% of those who wanted to attack the UK were British-born or raised». These people are easily influenced by terrorist recruitment, the same source said.

«Policies that go towards more social inclusion, more social mobility and more education are much more likely to drive down violence … than all the policing and state security apparatus put together. It is much more likely to have a positive effect on society», he told the British daily newspaper.

Meanwhile, the official stressed that British Muslims should not «assimilate», adding that «assimilation implies that I have to hide myself in order to get on. We should not be a society that accepts that».

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