London, Jan 10(ANI): British secret service agency, M16, is reportedly keeping a close watch on universities in a bid to weed out fledgling terrorists, after it was revealed that the Detroit- bound Christmas Day terror plotter, was probably radicalized while studying at University College London.
"The MI6 agents used to come in once at the beginning of the academic year to ask about students from potentially difficult countries. They would want to know where they lived and the accommodation officers had to be sure that if they moved the change of address was recorded and forwarded on to the relevant security services," The Daily Express quoted an university source, as saying.
"In recent months they have upped those visits in some cases to twice a month where they think there could be problems brewing with radicalization of students," the source added.
According to reports, university staff in charge of allocating accommodation has long unofficially monitored students from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Egypt, and now the lecturers and tutors have also been advised on how to spot extremists, who might be using colleges as recruiting grounds.
"Funnily enough they were all sponsored by their governments and none of them were over here studying English, it was all nuclear physics and engineering. Their addresses were kept a close eye on and if they moved they had to tell us and we would pass on the information to the appropriate authorities," another source said.
The guidance from the intelligence agency also directs staff to especially monitor first-year students, who may be lonely and missing family and therefore most at risk from the grooming techniques used by militant recruiters. (ANI)