Are prisons breeding terrorists???
A disturbing report from the UK...
Islamic extremists are spreading jihadist ideas across Britian's prisons a new report has claimed today.
Counter-terrorism think tank, Quilliam Foundation's report, Unlocking Al-Qaeda: Islamist extremism in British prisons, warns that failure to tackle prison radicalisation risks creating a fresh wave of hardened extremists, both inside and outside prisons, who are willing and capable of conducting terrorist violence.
It also revealed that most extremists initially radicalised in prison take an average of 5-7 years to become fully violent. This means that prisoners leaving prison today may ‘graduate’ into terrorism around 2015.
Quilliam’s report is based largely on secret accounts of prison life that have been smuggled out of prisons by high-profile extremists including clerics Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada.
The report said imprisoned extremists are pro-actively seeking to recruit other Muslims to their cause, for example, by befriending them soon after their arrival in prison, protecting them from other inmates and leading prison protests against alleged mistreatment by prison authorities.
Extremists are often seen by prison staff as ‘go-betweens’ between the prison service and ordinary Muslims.
In addition, leading extremists have been allowed to lead Friday prayers and given mentoring courses that allow them to become ‘spiritual advisors’ to other inmates.
The report also reveals that there are increasing reports of Muslim gangs forming in prison, some of them involving known extremists. Some of these gangs aim to intimidate and attack non-Muslim prisoners.
Some Muslim prisoners, including known and suspected extremists, report reading pro-jihadist books in prison such as Milestones by Sayyid Qutb, the main inspiration for modern jihadist thought.
Prominent pro-Al-Qaeda ideologues such as Abu Qatada have been able to smuggle messages out of prison to their supporters. Other convicted extremists have issued pro-jihadist statements from prison while others have appeared on Islamic TV stations from within prison.