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Written by Student Rights on 20 December 2010 at 5pm

MI5 identifies 39 campuses at risk from Islamists

Something that might have slipped under your radar is this (click if you have a Times Online subscription) article about how MI5, the British security service, has identified 39 universities/higher education institutions as being 'vulnerable to violent extremism'. Universities have been brief by JTAC, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and offered up to £10,000 in extra funding from government to tackle campus radicalisation - a move welcomed by Student Rights.

The article correctly points out that more than a dozen students from six universities have carried out terrorist attacks or been convicted of terrorism offences within the last ten years.  To ignore such a trend would be wholly irresponsible of government. The grants emerged from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, but 14 of the organisations offered the money did not apply.  Sources said some had 'refused to co-operate closely enough with the authorities' and that campus radicalisation was not being taken seriously enough.

Elizabeth Ammon, BIS's head of preventing violent extremism said campus radicalisation could take place at "any time in any institution", and that universities tried to strike a balance between maintaining a good image and challenging campus radicalisation. Anthony Glees, director of security studies at Buckingham University, said the lack of co-operation of some universities was "reckless, irresponsible ... but sadly it is totally par for the course".