Attempts to radicalise have to be countered

It’s important the parade continues – but safely

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You can see how it happens. Disaffected and impressionable young Muslims who want to be somebody are easy targets for those who seek to radicalise them for their own twisted ends.

The result?

Jihadis from Portsmouth head off to Syria in the mistaken belief they are doing something honourable.

In reality, they find themselves involved in terrorism and can end up paying with their lives.

A group of six men left this city to go and fight for Isil using the nickname Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys.

It must have seemed so exciting, leaving behind boring jobs to be part of what felt like a cause.

But today four of them are dead and the remaining two are remanded in custody on terrorism charges.

Anybody who is tempted to follow in their footsteps has to realise this could well be their fate too.

But we know the attempts to radicalise will not stop.

It is a very real problem, so we welcome all the work that is going on in the community to reach out and educate vulnerable people about the dangers of extremism.

Today we report how the police, the city council and Muslim leaders in Portsmouth have been working together to discourage people from travelling to Syria.

Their united message is simple; if you want to help the Syrian people, then do it through charity work.

Relationships have been built up and trust has developed.

As a result, misinformation can be challenged and hopefully people will listen.

We fully support today’s joint statement condemning Isil and those who seek to radicalise and recruit locally to the ranks of this violent regime.

Because the truth is that going to Syria is not some glorious, noble mission.

As council leader Donna Jones says: ‘Extremist activity has severe and real consequences.

‘There is such a high price to pay – this is not a glamorous life, people are killed and families left devastated.’