Spain to enlist citizens in fight against radicalisation

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Photo by prochasson Frederic, shutterstock.

A NATIONWIDE campaign has been announced by the Spanish government that will seek to capitalise on the wit and local knowledge of civil society to counter the influence of extremism. 

The “Stop Radicalismos” initiative was presented to the EU Internet Forum, which counters online terrorist content, on Friday December 4 by Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz.

Local groups consisting of members of the Muslim community, police officers and those with positive influence will be created to encourage ordinary citizens to report suspicious behaviour. 

A mobile app called ´AlertCops´, a website, and a hotline will also be established in an overarching plan that will encompass 12 ministries under the umbrella of the Intelligence Centre Against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO). 

The possible threat of violent jihadism has been a key feature in Spain´s general election campaign following the Paris attacks. Spain has also made more arrests for jihad-related activities than any other EU country this year, with a Moroccan national sentenced to prison last week for glorifying terrorism. 

The campaign was inspired by other anti-radicalisation measures taking root in the UK, France and Germany which seek to spread the message of those who have returned from Syria and Iraq, and the brutal circumstances they encountered. 

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