U.K. Extends Passport Powers To Block Teenagers Joining Terrorist Groups

British parents will be able to request the cancellation of the passports of their older teenage children if they have fears that they are being radicalized and might travel abroad to join a terrorist group, Prime Minister David Cameron will announce on Monday.

Parents already have had the ability to request the cancellation of the passports of their children aged under 16—a measure that Cameron's office said has been used a number of times, according to the BBC—and new proposals extend the measure to children aged 17 and under.

The aim of the extension of the power is to prevent teenagers traveling to join terrorist groups, particularly in Iraq and Syria, such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda-linked groups such as the Nusra Front.

"The government's new 'Counter-Extremism Strategy' is a clear signal of the choice we have made to take on this poisonous ideology with resolve, determination and the goal of building a greater Britain," Cameron will say in his speech, Reuters reported.

"And a key part of this new approach is going further to protect children and vulnerable people from the risk of radicalization by empowering parents and public institutions with all the advice, tools and practical support they need."

Cameron will also announce that any British national with a conviction for extremist activity will be outlawed from working with children.

On Sunday, Cameron announced an extra 5 million pounds ($7.72 million) in funding for moderate Muslim groups and charities identified as attempting to prevent the spread of radical Islamist "poison" in British communities.

Writing in The Times of London on Monday, Cameron said that radical Islamists threaten Britain's security and its "multi-racial, multi-faith democracy" and pledged to confront them "wherever we find them."

Cameron wrote: "Today, we publish our counter-extremism strategy. It sets out our plan to tackle this poison on every level: to counter the ideology that underpins it; to take on both the violent and non-violent parts of the creed; to empower the mainstream voices that are too often drowned out; and to tackle the alienation and segregation that can allow extremist narratives to take root."

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, between 500-600 British nationals have travelled to join radical Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq, figures from the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR) showed in January.

In 2015 so far, there have been 338 counter-terror arrests in Britain, with 56 of those arrested younger than 20-years-old, according to police figures seen by Reuters.