Plymouth gunman Jake Davison was influenced by the women-hating incel culture (Picture: Rex/Getty)
‘Incel’ extremists could be classed as terrorists in the UK amid fears the women-hating ideology is gaining more popularity online.
The Plymouth shooting has sparked new fears that men are being radicalised by the misogynistic ‘involuntary celibate’ movement, which is hostile towards women due of a perceived lack of sexual interest.
The gunman, Jake Davison, had ranted at length about incels on his YouTube channel before he shot five people dead on the streets on Plymouth on Wednesday before killing himself.
His account was removed yesterday in the wake of the atrocity but not before some praised him for being a ‘new hero.’
Incels have been linked to at least five mass shootings in the US after the founder of the movement, Elliot Rodger, went on a killing spree around the University of California, Santa Barbara, to ‘punish women for rejecting him.’
Last year, Britain’s most senior counterterrorism officer, Neil Basu, warned MPs that young people were being groomed online for incel attacks as well as far-right and Islamist extremism.
Now, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Jonathan Hall QC, has said the Government is likely to consider treating incels as terrorists if there are more attacks like the Plymouth shootings.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘The question is really whether or not the authorities want to treat the incel phenomenon as a terrorist risk. That would involve diverting resources or putting resources into it.
Davison resented women because he could not attract them sexually (Picture: PA)
Five people, including a three-year-old girl were killed (Picture: PA)
The atrocity has shocked the city of Plymouth and the rest of the country (Picture: PA)
‘If we see more of these sorts of attacks, then I have got no doubt that it will be treated more seriously as terrorism.
‘It fits rather uneasily into the way the authorities understand ideologies. It seems part of right-wing terrorism but it is not really. In fact, it is quite separate from it. It is a different sort of ideology.
‘The question is really one of choice. Do we want to start treating incels as potential terrorists?’
Former chief crown prosecutor for the North West Nazir Afzal told BBC Breakfast on Saturday there were 10,000 people with incel views like Davison in the country.
Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the killings (Picture: PA)
Davison killed his mum, Maxine, and then apparently four other people at random (Picture: PA)
He said if the movement was treated as terrorism then authorities would have more powers to investigate it.
‘You have got to think about how we deal with these men, and they are always men,’ he said.
‘What are they saying online, how are they being radicalised, who is doing the radicalisation.
‘If you treat it as terrorism then you have other options open to you in terms of intelligence gathering, in terms of being able to prosecute for disseminating materials, in terms of being able to hold them to account if they are conspiring with each other.
‘So, there are other potential offences available if you treat it as terrorism, but of course as we currently know that’s not what the Government’s intention is.’
Sir Peter Fahy, former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, stressed that partners and ex-partners were still a far greater risk to women than incels.
He told BBC Breakfast: ‘I think there is an awareness and there is indeed a debate in policing about this sort of misogyny and this more extreme misogyny.
‘I think you would have to say that when you look at the overall threat and risk to women they are more at risk from a person that is known to them, that they are in a relationship with or have just left a relationship with.
‘So, I do think this is a threat, it’s a worry, but it mustn’t be taken out of context.’
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