Anti-terror scheme supports 500 in three years

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More than 500 would-be terrorists have received support through a £3m-a-year Government scheme designed to protect people at risk from radicalisation, a report has revealed.

The multi-agency programme – known as Channel – identifies people at risk of being drawn into terrorism and develops support plans for those individuals.

Nearly 2,500 people were referred to Channel between January 2007 and December 2012, of whom about 500 were offered support, the Government’s first annual report on the UK’s strategy for countering terrorism said.

The report from the Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism also revealed that al-Qaida affiliates including the Taliban had pocketed $60m (£40m) in kidnapping ransom payments since 2008.