We must work together to prevent more radicalisation

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So at last we all know who Jihadi John really is.

He’s a Kuwaiti-born UK citizen who was, depending on what you read, a former star salesman for an IT company or a cold loner who had little to do even with his Islamic State colleagues.

There has inevitably been a great deal of speculation and analysis of what can be gleaned about the man whose real name is Mohamed Emwazi.

Was he brainwashed here in the UK or did ‘trained psychologists’ push him even further when he joined an Isil training camp? Was he already the hard-liner ready to kill on video before he even left here?

While visiting Portsmouth yesterday, former foreign secretary Philip Hammond said that we are right to be concerned about the threat of terrorism. And he went on to add that Portsmouth has no more of a problem than any other UK city.

Naturally, it is in his interest to downplay specifics. But it is easy to be sceptical of his comments when the spotlight has been shone so brightly on the city in this respect.

We have had four men from the city die fighting for Isil in the past year. Part of the problem is inevitably that we may not know who these people are until it is too late.

How can we know that the next ‘Jihadi John’ isn’t already primed and ready to go?

The News is not seeking to scaremonger, the radicalisation of some young Muslims has become a sad reality of our world. The only way we can prevent more people being radicalised is if the community works together.

Yes, the Muslim community must play its part in identifying those who are vulnerable, but we all have a role. And we should do all we can to dispel any lingering romantic notions of this being about freedom fighters. It’s not, it’s a brutal, savage and inhuman business.

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