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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 22:25 GMT 23:25 UK
Combating terror 'to take years'
An armed British police officer
Mr Woolas said defeating terrorism was the government's main goal
The threat of terrorism in Britain will take "generations" to overcome, a government minister has warned.

Communities Minister Phil Woolas said he saw the fight against Islamic extremism as a "perpetual" one.

He was speaking with leaders of various faiths, meeting to check up on the progress of measures designed to combat terrorism after the 7 July bombings.

His comments came as 11 people appeared in court over an alleged bomb plot to blow up several transatlantic planes.

"We see this fight against terrorism as a perpetual fight. This is a generational thing. We are determined to protect civil liberties. But we can't solve it on our own," Mr Woolas said at the meeting, held in Bolton.

"The terrorists will use whatever argument they have got to pull the wool over susceptible people's eyes, but their goal, as Bill Clinton said, is to destroy the idea of a pluralist society."

'Mature process'

Following the 7 July attacks in London, the government put forward 64 recommendations aimed at fighting terrorism.

They included a scholars roadshow, more work on engaging the Islamic community and empowering women, and a public inquiry into the bombings, which has since been dismissed.

But there has been criticism that implementing the recommendations is taking too long.

Mr Woolas said the government was working hard to install the majority of measures.

"We have got a clear, mature process going on involving tens of thousands of particularly young people, to work together to attack this ideology of terrorism," he said.

"The government is very clear that the vast majority of Muslims want to defeat this terrorism carried out in the name of religion."

A number of similar meetings will take place over the next month across the country.

Later this week Cabinet Minister Ruth Kelly will launch the Commission on Integration and Cohesion, which aims to help strengthen understanding between communities in Britain.




SEE ALSO
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04 Jul 06 |  UK Politics



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