Inmates of a French prison cheered for Paris Attacker Salah Abdeslam when he entered the facility.
Salah Abdeslam was one of the key terrorists involved in the attacks in November that saw the mass killings of 130 innocent people at the Bataclan nightclub and several other locations.
Abdeslam was brought into a French prison on Thursday morning, with reports that the terrorist was whistled at by other Salafist inmates. However, some inmates jeered him for not blowning himself up as many of the other Paris attackers had 7sur7 reports.
The prison, located south of Paris, houses many radical Islamists whose crimes range from petty theft to outright support of terrorist groups like the Islamic State who have taken responsibility for Abdeslam’s actions in Paris.
The reception for the terrorist was initially played down as a few Salafists whistling but was revealed later to be much more than that. It is said that the so-called “beast of the Bataclan” was warmly welcomed by a large portion of the inmates of the Fleury-Merogis prison.
One reporter said: “Numerous detainees have gone to their windows to express their feelings loudly as they do when a fellow inmate escapes,” though not everyone in the prison was happy to see the terrorist as the iTV journalist said: “The cries of joy and applause were on par with the cries of condemnation and insults.”
Abdeslam is said to be kept in total isolation and under constant video surveillance at the prison. The Fleury-Merogis is the largest prison in Europe and one of the most heavily fortified. The French Minister of Justice Jean-Jaques Urvoas said that Abdeslam was “in an isolation ward” and that the only human contact he has is with “seasoned supervisors.”
Though he is under constant video surveillance, a first in France, he is allowed to have private correspondence via telephone or letters and has the freedom to practice Islam in his cell. The only exercise he is allowed is an hour walk alone.
Abdeslam was caught in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek after police were tipped off to his whereabouts, though he had hidden there for months. After a firefight with police officers he was arrested and placed into custody.
His arrest was said to have been the main catalyst for the March Brussels terror attacks that killed over 30 people. Many say that Brussels has become the major hotbed for Islamic extremism in Europe and the Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon had to admit that many Muslims were happy in the aftermath of the attacks.