'Jihadi Jails' vital to stopping hate preachers like Anjem Choudary preying on vulnerable inmates, says extremism expert

Haras Rafiq says Paris attacker was likely radicalised in prison

Extremist groups such as Isis are known to prey on inmates in prison

Friday, April 21, 2017

New plans for so-called 'jihadi jails' have been hailed as a major step forward which will prevent hate preachers like Anjem Choudary radicalising fellow inmates behind bars.

Haras Rafiq, head of the counter-extremist Quilliam thinktank, spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer about plans for the creation of special units within prisons to house convicted terrorists and preachers, such as Choudary.

Up to 28 Muslim extremists will be put into special separation centres as part of the recommendations, which stem from last year's Acheson report into extremism in prison. 

Rafiq said the new plans are a significant move towards tackling what he described as a "huge problem."

He suggested that the jihadist who perpetrated last night's Paris attacks was likely radicalised in jail, and described how penal institutions provide fertile recruiting ground for charismatic preachers to recruit highly vulnerable people.

Rafiq said prison inmates provide the perfect "cannon fodder" for extremist groups such as Isis, as they are already likely to be violent and marginalised. The new reforms, he said, will help protect them from islamist brain-washing.

Listen to the clip above

Haras Rafiq, head of the counter-extremist Quilliam thinktank, 

saying former jihadists have told him they would have targeted fellow inmates had they been sent to jail.

special units within prisons to stop them brainwashing vulnerable inmates.

Terrorists, hate preachers and people already radicalised.

"step in the right direction" and the issue of convicted extremists radicalising cellmates "has been a huge problem."

Paris "it's probably the case that he was radicalised in prison."