Boris Admits ‘Really Very Few’ Islamists Can Be Rehabilitated, ‘We Need to Be Frank About That’

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that “really very few” Islamists can be successfully rehabilitated, and says it’s time to emphasise “the custodial option” to protect the public.

The Tory leader was speaking after Sudesh Amman stabbed multiple people in Streatham, London, just days after he received automatic early release from a short prison sentence for terror offences.

Amman was the second radical Islamic terrorist who struck while out on automatic early release in a row, with London Bridge killer Usman Khan having also been a freed terror convict.

“I’m going to level with you,” Johnson began, in response to a journalist who asked him if the public could be sure that terror convicts were coming out of prison less dangerous than when they went in.

“I think, looking at the problems we have with re-educating and reclaiming and rehabilitating people who succumb to Islamism, it’s very, very hard, and very tough, and it can happen, but the instances of success are really very few,” he confessed.

“[W]e need to be frank about that, and we need to think about how we handle that in our criminal justice system.”

Elaborating on the point in response to another journalist, Johnson underlinged the fact that “Deradicalising people is a very, very difficult thing to do… [there is] a big psychological barrier people find it hard to get back over — and that’s why I stress the importance of the custodial option.”

The Prime Minister wants to end automatic early release for “serious” terrorists and violent and/or sexual offenders — but that will not arrest the very substantial pool of existing terror convicts who are already counting down the time until they set free.

He indicated that his administration is going “to take action to ensure that people, irrespective of the law that we’re bringing in, [to ensure that] people in the current stream do not qualify automatically for early release” retroactively — a move than is not prohibited by the British constitution, but which would likely have to be passed “notwithstanding the Human Rights Act” of 1998, and with the possibility of terrorists appealing to the European Court of Human Rights.

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