European Prisons Fueling Spread of Islamic Radicalism

(Wall Street Journal) Noemie Bisserbe - Convicted terrorists sit atop the social pecking order in Europe's prison systems. Many use jail time to forge ties with Muslim petty criminals, grooming them for jihad missions. With the return over the past year of an unprecedented number of jihadists from Islamic State territory, authorities are throwing many of them in jail, but that is injecting battle-hardened radicals into overcrowded prisons. Some 50-60% of the 67,000 inmates in the French prison system are Muslims, who represent just 7.5% of the general population. Prison officials face a difficult choice between absorbing hardened militants into the general prison population, where they might radicalize others, or concentrating them in special wards where they may be better able to hatch plots. Adel Kermiche, who killed a Roman Catholic priest in a French church last week, wrote that he met his "spiritual guide" in prison, who "gave him ideas."

2016-08-03 00:00:00

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