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Written by Student Rights on 10 October 2014 at 11am

Student arrests will renew campus extremism debate (Update: Student charged)

UPDATE: Suhaib Majeed, the previously un-named student studying physics, has now been charged with intending to commit acts of terrorism. A student at King's College London, he will appear on court today. Gusai Abuzeid and Rawan Kheder are believed to have been released without charge on 13th October.   

The news that at least three men arrested this week as part of an investigation into an alleged terrorist plot targeting London were undergraduate students studying in the city will renew the debate surrounding the radicalisation of young people.

The second individual to be named by police, Gusai Abuzeid, currently studies at the Greenwich School of Management, while Rawan Kheder is enrolled at London Metropolitan University.

Meanwhile, a third individual is believed to be studying physics at another London University, and while his arrest has now been disclosed, his name cannot be reported for legal reasons.

Until it was shut down recently the Facebook page of the Islamic Society at the Greenwich School of Management regularly saw extreme or intolerant material shared.  

This included posts claiming that Israelis kidnap children to harvest their organs and inject prisoners with biological weapons, and that US soldiers target children.

It also shared material defending Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) members, promoted HT events, and posted video of Zahir Mahmood, who has claimed that “Hamas are not terrorists, they’re freedom fighters”.

Meanwhile, in the past year London Metropolitan Society Islamic Society has encouraged students to attend events with extreme or intolerant speakers.

Among these speakers were Haitham Al-Haddad, prevented from speaking on campus in January 2014, and Sulaiman Ghani, hosted by the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) in March.

The society also encouraged students to donate money to Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT), and Helping Households under Great Stress (HHUGS), both charities which have been linked to extremism.

With police still questioning the students it is unclear the extent to which they may have been involved in a plot to target civilians.

However, the evidence above should be enough to demonstrate that extremism is certainly still a problem within the capital’s universities.