France: Terror Watch-List Inmate on the Run After Escape During Prisoner Transfer

french police france
AP/Christophe Ena

An inmate of a prison in Brest, north-west France, escaped his jailers Wednesday morning in an apparently intricately organised plot to get the terror watch-list male out of custody.

The 21-year-old man, presently serving a number of sentences for petty crimes including theft, is nevertheless on a French security services ‘S-File’ — a marker denoting he is considered a suspected radical  — and was in the process of being transferred to a hospital for treatment from his prison.

Faking tying his shoelace during the transfer, the prisoner sprung up from his position and pushed past his three guards before jumping into a waiting blue-purple Peugeot car which sped away and burst through the closed hospital gates, reports radio network FranceBleu.

Justice Department sources quoted by the report state that in cases of inmates being transferred to hospital, they are usually informed on the day of the move to prevent the time and place being passed to contacts outside of prison in enough time to plan an escape. In this case, that procedure appears to have not been followed.

The report states the officers transferring the suspected radical were unarmed and made the move in an ordinary car without any police modifications. A union representative complained that the service was significantly undermanned, and there were not enough officers available to make the transfers properly.

A police hunt for the individual and his assistants is underway, and a police helicopter was dispatched.

The radicalisation of prisoners in French jails is a large and growing problem, even for those who were not detained for terror-related crimes. Breitbart London has reported on Islamic State members in French prisons being able to plan terror attacks from within their cells with smuggled mobile phones, and in January prison guards were attacked by knife-wielding, “Allah Akbar” shouting radical inmates.

Follow Oliver Lane on Facebook, Twitter: or e-mail: olane[at]