CITY MP Mike Hancock has claimed some of the men who left Portsmouth to fight in Syria were radicalised in further education.
The Portsmouth South MP said in the House of Commons that a number of young people had travelled to the war-torn country after being radicalised not in their homes or at work but in further education institutions.
Four men from Portsmouth are known to have died in Syria in the past year and others are still believed to be there.
During a debate on the proposed Counter Terrorism and Security Bill, he said: ‘The real problem in my city, which has been suffering quite badly from extremism – we have already lost four young men and there are others still out there – is how to give confidence to families in the community that, first, they will be taken seriously, and secondly, that, somehow, their children will not be punished.
‘How do we get to the families?
‘I have yet to hear a decent argument that will give confidence to families.’
He went on: ‘I have talked to women in communities in Portsmouth, some of whom have lost their sons. They wished they had had more information and had been aware of what was going on.
‘The trouble was that those young people had been radicalised outside the home and, in most cases, outside their working environment.
‘Most of those young men were in further education and that was where they had been radicalised, which led them to go to Syria and, ultimately, to lose their lives.’
Nineteen-year-old Muhammad Mehdi Hassan, a former pupil at St John’s College in Southsea and Havant College, died earlier this year in Syria.
Ifthekar Jaman, who was 23, died last year while fighting, former Primark supervisor Muhammad Hamidur Rahman, 25, died in August, and Manunur Roshid, 24, from Buckland, was killed on October 17.
Havant College, St John’s College in Southsea and Highbury College were all approached by The News and asked to comment on what they are doing to ensure students are not radicalised in education.
No comments were received at the time of publication.