French Authorities Concerned over Upcoming Release of 148 Jihadists

A picture taken on September 9, 2017 shows a window with jail bars at the central prison in the western city of Ensisheim. / AFP PHOTO / SEBASTIEN BOZON (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images)

French law enforcement officials and intelligence agencies have expressed concern over the expected release of at least 148 radical Islamic extremists by the end of 2022.

The jihadists were described as “very dangerous individuals” by National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor (PNAT) Jean-François Ricard during a recent parliamentary committee, with 45 terrorism convicts set to be released by the end of this year alone.

The French internal intelligence agency, the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI), has also expressed similar fears calling the release of the terror convicts a “major concern”, Le Journal du Dimanche reports.

Officials added that the release of the jihadists has become an even bigger concern for them than returning Islamic State fighters travelling back to France from the Middle East.

Both law enforcement and the intelligence agencies say that the level of radicalisation among those set to be released has not been sufficiently measured and that the problem of Islamic radicalisation in French prisons continues to grow.

Some inmates, such as Bilal Taghi who was sentenced to 28 years for attempting to murder two prison supervisors in 2016, is said to have claimed he has given up on radical Islamic ideas, which authorities believe to be a lie.

Republican member of parliament Eric Ciotti has tabled legislation that is to be debated in May in order to combat the issue of security with jihadists set for release by granting powers to the government to keep them in prison if they are deemed a serious security threat.

In the UK, jihadists released from prison have been responsible for two terror attacks in recent months in London.

Sudesh Amman, 20, who wounded two people in Streatham, London, was released from prison after serving just half of a three-year sentence.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed scrapping automatic early release in terrorism cases, with a poll showing overwhelming support from the British public for the measure.

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


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