‘Treat incel ideology like terrorism’: Followers of ‘involuntary celibate’ movement should face same probes as suspected terrorists, experts say

  • Experts say the incel movement should face counter-terror style investigations
  • Ex-prosecutor chief said police should have flagged Jake Davison on a watch list
  • ‘That kind of extreme misogyny of the type we have seen here and in terms of the incel community is a threat to all women,’ said Nazir Afzal

Twisted followers of the ‘involuntary celibate’ movement should face counter-terrorism style investigations, experts said last night.

There were calls to introduce urgent measures to combat the threat posed by women-hating ‘incels’, amid claims they have up to 10,000 sympathisers in Britain.

Former chief crown prosecutor for northwest England, Nazir Afzal, said treating the misogynistic ideology as terrorism would open new avenues for police investigations. 

‘That kind of extreme misogyny of the type we have seen here and in terms of the incel community is a threat to all women and, ultimately, to all our communities.

Jake Davison, a self-confessed ‘involuntary celibate’, had an obsession with guns and violent computer games from the age of five, according to reports

‘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,’ he told the Sunday Express. 

He added that police should have flagged Jake Davison on a ‘watch list’ – such was the extreme nature of his public comments on violence towards women. 

Callum Hood, of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, told the Sunday Times: ‘There’s no question in our minds that this is a radicalising community. This should be a wake-up call that online misogyny is not an online only problem.’

But Sam Armstrong, of the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said incels did not fall within the legal definition of terrorism because they were not attempting to advance a political belief.

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