How the Arab Spring's Prisoner Releases Have Helped the Jihadi Cause

(Atlantic) Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Aaron Zelin - The investigation of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed American ambassador Christopher Stevens has begun to focus on a Libya-based Egyptian, Muhammad Jamal, who recently got out of an Egyptian prison. Since the beginning of the "Arab Spring" uprisings, prisons in affected countries have been emptied, inmates scattering after being released or breaking free. The Arab dictatorships were notorious for unjustly incarcerating political prisoners, but jihadists have also been part of this wave of releases, and we are now beginning to see the fruits of the talent pool that is back on the streets. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Aaron Zelin is a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2012-10-12 00:00:00

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