The realisation that an Islamist gunman who attacked a free speech conference and a synagogue in Denmark last February had been radicalised in prison triggered a massive reassessment of the national approach to Islam in prisons.
In just 10 weeks after the shootings perpetrated by Omar El-Hussein in Copenhagen, the Danish Prison and Probation Service passed on 59 reports about 50 individuals under their jurisdiction to the security services. Before then, just 37 prisoners had been reported in the preceding two years, indicating both the increasing seriousness with which the Danish prison service was taking extremism among the incarcerated population, and perhaps the rising prevalence of Muslims behind bars.
TheLocal.dk reports the prison service has now started enrolling radical Islamists being released back into general society into the same sort of programmes previously employed to help gang-members coming out of the penal system.
Breitbart London reported in April that fanatic El-Hussein had shared a cell with a fellow Islamist, who had played a significant part in his radicalisation. The Danish prison service had been criticised for failing to take action on the pair – with El-Hussein serving time for an ‘unmotivated’ stabbing sharing a cell with a man who was known for using social media to promote the Islamic State. El-Hussein swore allegiance to ISIS after leaving prison and went on to kill only weeks later.
The prison service has defended its record, claiming it had “no reason to believe that [El-Hussein] was planning attacks”. Danish Conservative party spokesman Naser Khader told local press that the system should look to the example of neighbours who had already grappled with this problem. He said: “We should do what they do in the Netherlands, where they move the most hard-core Islamists away from the other Muslims so they can’t inspire them”.
Whether Denmark will in fact take action is yet to be seen – there are plenty of European nations who are well aware of the problem of Prison indoctrination and remain unwilling, or unable to act. Breitbart has reported extensively on the radicalisation problem of French and British prisons, which have a disproportionately high Muslim populations and are known colloquially as ‘jihad factories’. The radical Islamist pair who committed the Paris Charlie Hebdo attacks this year met in prison – an experience that turned Cherif Kouachi from thief to dedicated Islamist in just months.
“Many inmates convert to Islam or rediscover their Muslim roots behind bars. Some do it for protection, some for camaraderie; others, just to fit in.”
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