The group, led by Cameron, will “have a general focus on extremist groups, but accept that in practice the greatest threat is from Islamist extremists,” a statement from Downing Street said.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the task force needs to look at “extremism from all quarters” while forming an effective strategy.

“In doing so, we hope wisdom prevails as we reflect on the response of these past few days and the missed opportunities of previous years,” said a statement from the council’s secretary-general, Farooq Murad. “We must be vigilant and ensure we do not inadvertently give into the demands of all extremists: making our society less free, divided and suspicious of each other. Lessons from the past indicate that policies and measures taken in haste can exacerbate extremism.”