Britain will face a threat from radicalised young Muslims for another 30 years, the Security Minister Lord West has said.
By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:19AM BST 22 Oct 2008
Lord West warned that it will take decades to win the argument against terrorism and extremism in some sections of British society.
“To stop this radicalisation of extremists is going to take about 30 years,” the minister told MPs on the Commons Defence Committee.
He added that no matter how much work the Government puts into improving Britain’s ability to detect and thwart terrorist plots, the threat will only be overcome by persuading Muslims not to engage in violence.
“We cannot arrest and protect our way out of this problem,” Lord West said.
The minister insisted that the Government’s attempts to begin a dialogue with young British Muslims is starting to pay off, but accepted that there is still a long way to go.
He said: “I regularly go out and talk to youngsters and I think. ‘It’s amazing, how on earth can you believe that?’ But we have to have a dialogue.”
Tacitly accepting that the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have contributed to radicalisation, he said: “We would accept that certain aspects of our foreign policy have caused difficulty with them.”