A top British official has urged the Internet industry to cooperate with the government in targeting Islamic extremists in the same way it helps identify pedophiles.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith Thursday

compared recruitment of impressionable young people by militants to on-line stalking of children by sexual predators.

Smith told a meeting in London she plans to consult with the Internet industry in the coming weeks to devise ways of removing illegal material from Islamist Web sites.

In November, the head of the British intelligence unit MI-5 said al-Qaida was grooming Muslim children in Britain to become terrorists.

Those comments by spy chief Jonathan Evans drew sharp criticism from the head of Britain's largest Muslim group, the Muslim Council of Britain.

Muhammad Abdul Bari said British politicians are creating a climate of fear within Britain's huge Muslim community by spending too much time focusing on wrongdoings of young Muslims.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.