A UK government-appointed body is to consider new laws to tackle increasingly professional extremist groups that harness the power of social media to disguise divisive messages as mainstream political campaigns.

Sara Khan, the group’s head, cited the work of the international Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir and far-right organisations who have rebranded themselves as counter-terrorist campaigns as examples of a new wave of “intellectualised” extremism.

“It’s quite clear to me that extremism in 2018 is complex, multifaceted and it’s changing,” Ms Khan told The National. “The combination of social media, conspiracy theories and living in an era of fake news is a pretty toxic combination. Once these things become normalised it becomes even more difficult to challenge.”

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