The 18-year-old Iraqi refugee suspected of planting the Parsons Green ‘bucket bomb’ was reported to the government’s Prevent de-radicalisation scheme just months ago, it has been claimed.
The teenager was being fostered by a couple in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, and was said to have been a troublemaker who was arrested just two weeks before the attack.
The improvised explosive device with a timer partially detonated at Parsons Green station on Friday morning, injuring around 30 people. Islamic State has claimed responsibility.
On Monday night, sources told the Daily Mail that the youth’s behaviour was so alarming before the attack he was reported to Prevent, which aims to deter potential extremists from terrorism.
The referral was reportedly made several months ago through Surrey County Council, which was responsible for placing the teenager with Penny and Ronald Jones, the elderly couple who cared for him.
The foster parents are now learning about the background to the young men they gave shelter to from the police https://t.co/uhGyvnHMOV
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 18, 2017
On Monday, it was reported that the couple, who have fostered hundreds of children, were not warned of the refugee’s troubled past, although they were aware he had been in Islamic State-controlled territory.
It is not clear what authorities did to de-radicalise the man and if the alleged referral was acted on at all.
However, the claim will raise questions about whether the authorities could have done more, after U.S. President Donald Trump said the attacker was “in the sights of Scotland Yard”.
Prevent has reportedly helped stop numerous terrorists, France and Germany are planning similar schemes, and a large and growing proportion of those targeted are from the “far right”.
Despite this, it is almost unanimously opposed by Muslim lobby groups and has been attacked by some in government and international rights groups for supposedly targeted Muslims.
The Home Affairs Select Committee described it as “toxic” and discriminatory towards Muslims, and the United Nations’ (UN) special rapporteur on the right to freedom of assembly claimed it created a “spectre of Big Brother”.
Many left wing groups and unions are also opposed to it, including the Nation Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Union of Students (NUS), who have described it a “racist” and promised to “resist” the scheme.