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Armed Forces: Counter-terrorism

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 16106, tabled on 15 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to provide support to those members of the British armed forces who have been referred to the Government's terror prevention programme; and what steps he is taking in response to that matter.

Answered on

22 June 2021

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not tolerate extremism of any kind and it is not compatible with the values and standards of our Armed Forces. Where such behaviour is believed to be occurring, early action is taken to confront and challenge this, including ensuring that referrals are made to the appropriate authorities.

Service personnel referred for suspected extremism are supported through the process, which can result in dismissal, with appropriate advice, guidance, and counselling as required and requested. In addition, the usual welfare mechanisms and pastoral support remain open to the individual through their local Chain of Command and via organisations such as SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity. Membership of proscribed organisations and extremist behaviour is not tolerated and those who have been convicted of offences are unlikely to continue to serve.

The MOD adheres to the Home Office Prevent programme. Further information on Prevent can be found on the Government's counter-terrorism website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance. Internally, Defence uses the Channel process to deal with Service personnel who have shown signs of extremism. Information on the Channel process can be found at the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/channel-and-prevent-multi-agency-panel-pmap-guidance