MI5 implements 'sex-offender monitoring' for extremists

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MI5 is to implement monitoring tactics usually used by police to keep track of the activities of paedophiles and other sex offenders, according to the Times.

Police normally keep tabs on sex offenders by noting sightings of them and the people they associate with, which the paper claims will be used by MI5 to track Muslim extremists.

Enlisting the help of ordinary policing methods could give MI5 and the police special branch access to a fuller amount of intelligence as surveillance officers only have time to focus on specific individuals or groups posing a threat.

A security source told the paper: "This is a new approach and we hope that police officers will understand that the job of countering terrorism and extremism is not just for MI5 and the police special branch but can be carried out by traditional police methods."

Police officers in areas such as Birmingham, Leeds and London - which have large Pakistani communities - will be expected to keep track of Muslims known to be radicals under the reported plans

Information from observations made by the police will then be collated into a database which will apparently be used by to both MI5 and the police.

A Home Office spokesperson said that it it did not comment on operational matters.

According to the source, the new surveillance tactic will contribute towards the police's 'rich picture' project which aims to locate Islamic youths being groomed by terrorist groups.

MI5 has opened regional offices alongside special branch in a number of UK regions.

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