Friday, January 13, 2006

Radical Islam has gained a foothold in roughly one out of three French prisons, according to France's Interior Ministry


While those preaching Islamist extremism have not converted a sizable number of prisoners, the phenomenon is a concern, the report by the Renseignements Generaux intelligence agency suggests.

Excerpts of the report and its conclusions were published in Le Figaro newspaper Friday. An Interior Ministry source contacted by United Press International confirmed their accuracy.

Even one person could disturb a prison and have an impact, he said.

Out of France's 188 prisons, some 68 are affected by radical Islam. The report identified some 175 prisoners -- 70 percent of French nationality -- believed to be preaching an extremist brand of the Muslim religion. Of those, French intelligence officials believe half a dozen could tip toward terrorism.

Roughly 200 acts of proselytism were registered last year, according to the study, with the most popular advocating the fundamentalist Tabligh and Salafist strains of Islam.

Fears of Islamist preaching are not unique to France. Other European countries are keeping a similar watch on their Islamist prisoners.

Jose Padilla, facing criminal charges in the U.S. for supporting terrorism, converted to Islam in a British prison in the early 1990s.

In October, French police allegedly uncovered a cell aimed to recruit people for training in the Middle East who would then return to carry out terrorist attacks in France.

The alleged head of the plot was Safe Bourrada, a supporter of Algeria's extremist Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat. Bourrada was released in 2003 after spending time in prison for his role in 1995 bombing attacks.

He was arrested once again in the police raid last fall.

France Says Extremists Are Enlisting Its Citizens

Islamist detainee confirms planned attacks in Paris

Why Islam Can Never Be Appeased



At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wild guess: This is because there are so many muslims in French prisons. Muslims who do not feel themselves to be French, or a part of mainstream France. And so with them, this alienation leads more easily to radicalization.

Those who think that racial/ethnic groups do not differ in significant ways, including in average intelligence, and so therefore in their ability to adapt to life in a first world country, may want to ask why the many Vietnamese immigrants in France are not making the same sort of headlines as the muslims and Africans.


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