London, June 20 : To prevent young Muslims from being "brainwashed" by al-Qaeda terrorists, a counter-radicalisation plan is being developed in Scotland as part of a UK Government counter-terrorism plan known as CONTEST.
Scotsman.com reported that the strategy, which has the backing of police and the Scottish Government, would see parents of young Muslims encouraged to exercise greater control over their children's use of the Internet, which is regarded as a major "weak spot" in Britain's efforts to combat terrorism.
Developed in response to the growing number of UK nationals found to be involved in terrorism, the plan will seek to win the "hearts and minds" of Muslim families whose help is seen as crucial in preventing youngsters being recruited into the terror network.
It is understood that measures used to protect children from paedophiles on the Internet will be proposed to prevent young Muslims being incited to develop an unhealthy support for al-Qaeda via chatrooms and websites.
These will include installing home computers with special firewalls allowing parents to block access to websites containing terrorist material, such as images of beheadings or bomb-making manuals, and teaching parents what to look out for.
Youth projects will also be run to encourage civic pride among young people, some of who may be vulnerable to al-Qaeda's violent anti-Western doctrine.
Meanwhile, police will receive cultural and religious lessons to ensure anti-terror investigations are handled more sensitively.
The move comes amid growing concerns among community leaders and senior police officers that innocent Muslims are being singled out as potential terrorists, creating an atmosphere of distrust which threatens to become a breeding ground for would-be suicide bombers.
Allan Burnett, head of counter-terrorism for the police in Scotland, is co-ordinating the strategy.
Scotsman.com quoted Burnett as saying that that closer links between officers and Muslims must be forged to encourage families who have concerns about their children to come forward.
And he said youngsters were "vulnerable" to corruption from viewing violent terrorist images on computers and mobile phones.
Burnett revealed he would discuss with Muslim groups ways to create "alternatives" for disaffected young people who may be more likely to be attracted to al-Qaeda.
These include the new Scottish Islamic Foundation, which has already run several residential courses for young Muslims.