The Henry Jackson Society has responded to today’s sentencing of Umar Haque, who was convicted of trying to recruit an “army of children” for Islamic State-inspired attacks in London.
The courts found that he had trained children as young as 11 for attacks on multiple targets, from Big Ben to the Westfield shopping centre.
Emma Webb, Research Fellow in the Centre for the Response to Radicalisation and Terrorism at The Henry Jackson Society, said:
“Given the enormity of Umar Haque’s plans and the significant harm he has done by seeking to weaponise innocent children trusted to his care, his long sentence is more than justified.
“Haque is a dangerous individual who used his position of power to prey on the most vulnerable in society. If he had succeeded, he would not only have ruined the lives of his victims but also destroyed the lives of the children and families he sought to exploit.
“This case further demonstrates the vulnerability of our schools and the urgent need to step up efforts to safeguard children from extremists.
“In order to control Haque’s pernicious influence, over the next 25 years prison staff are going to have to carefully control his interactions with other prisoners—and should consider separating him from the general prison population.”