Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal

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Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal has since January 2013 worked for the Department for Education as West Midlands Regional PREVENT Lead (HE & FE)[1], overseen by the Homeland Security Group, which is responsible for ‘developing, coordinating and implementing CONTEST’, the government’s counter-terrorism policy.[2]

The HSG also ‘leads on the management and delivery of the Prevent programme, in partnership with Counter-Terrorism Police, and local, national and civil society delivery partners’. It is not widely known that the HSG is one of the seven agencies and departments that form the UK intelligence community, alongside others such as MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.[3] In other words, PREVENT co-ordinators like Haroon-Iqbal, while not directly employed by an intelligence agency, are overseen and co-ordinated by such an agency, making them ‘agents’ of British intelligence. The term is used by MI5 to describe individuals who are ‘not formally employed by MI5’ but acting on behalf of the state, as compared to its staff, who are referred to as ‘officers’.[4]