Former Anti-Terror Judge Warns of Danger from Jihadis Set for Prison Release

A member of the 'Regional Response and Security Teams' (ERIS), who replaces staff members on strike, speaks on the telephone as prison guards block the entrance to the penitentiary center of Alencon, in Conde-sur-Sarthe, northwestern France, on early March 6, 2019, a day after a prison inmate seriously wounded two …

French former anti-terrorist judge Marc Trévidic has warned that there is a substantial danger posed to the public by terrorism convicts set for release in the next two years.

Mr Trévidic said that starting in 2020 and 2021, prisoners convicted for joining the Islamic State in Syria will be eligible for prison release and noted that there were currently around 400 such individuals in French prisons, broadcaster Public Sénat reports.

The former anti-terror judge gave his warning in response to the recent London Bridge terror attack which involved an Islamic radical previously convicted for terror offences and let out of prison but forced to wear an electronic tag after being part of a rehabilitation programme.

“We are in an area where the risk of re-offending is very high. You must not fool yourself. I would compare that to serial criminals, or serial rapists,” Trévidic said. He added: “This is even truer when there is an ideology that still exists.”

He added that it was challenging to deradicalise such individuals, stating that it was easy enough for them to find themselves back in a radical Islamist atmosphere, whether it was in prison, on social media, or even with their own families.

Trévidic said that while deradicalisation was important, it was far more important to combat initial radicalisation. “It’s even harder to deradicalise people who are highly radicalised than it is to fight against global warming,” he said.

“We do not know what the good solutions to de-radicalise someone are. Nobody knows how we can be sure we have even succeeded,” he added.

Earlier this year, French justice minister Nicole Belloubet announced that 254 Islamist terrorists would be set for release by 2022 and said that nearly a 1,000 more prisoners who had been convicted of other crimes had been radicalised while in prison.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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