Spotting if your friend is becoming a terrorist taught to Redbridge youth leaders
After attending a six month workshop on how to prevent extremism, one schoolgirl says she has a completely different understanding of terrorism.
Imogen Rhodes, 16, now plans to take everything she was taught on the Young Leaders Programme and campaign to get young people more involved in politics.
She attended workshops which included learning how to speak in public as well as what the security services are doing to prevent terrorism.
They taught her how to spot if any of her friends were becoming radicalised and what she should do about it.
Imogen, who goes to Mayfield School, Pedley Road, Goodmayes, said: “Before, I thought there were few extremist groups and that’s why there were not so many attacks.
“But the government are stopping them through surveillance and intercepting.”
She said that because of her training she had a better understanding of the attack in Woolwich where soldier Lee Rigby was killed.
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She said: “Terrorism was never an issue to me but when I saw what happened in Woolwich I thought about it in more depth and had more understanding of how to prevent it and how the government are trying to stop it.”
The group of 31 young people learned about different types of extremism and Imogen says she now has a better understanding of how they work.
“People from the Ministry of Defence spoke about how people can get involved in it,” she said.
“Terrorism is using violence to achieve a political end.
“It’s all kinds of people in a group.”
Inspired by the course she is now going to put her new found skill into encouraging young people to get into politics.
“I believe that people are not educated enough on politics and lots of people don’t vote because they don’t understand the political system as it’s confusing,” she added.
“Also, lots of people don’t like politicians and don’t want to support them.”
Over the next year she is going to be campaigning for politics to be taught in all state schools through writing to MPs and newspapers.