By Maajid Nawaz
The recent terrorism conviction of Anjem Choudary, the West’s most prolific media cheerleader for the so-called Islamic State , raised questions about his incarceration in prisons that have—in some cases —been labelled jihadist training camps.
Indeed, terrorist recruitment in prisons is one of the biggest challenges the West faces today, and Jihadi-Joker Anjem Choudary would thrive in such an environment. Prison radicalization is a real and sustained problem. Petty criminals predisposed to violence like “shoe-bomber” Richard Reid caught trying to blow up a transatlantic flight out of Paris in 2001 initially were radicalized in this very way, by mixing with hardened jihadist ideologues inside Britain’s jails, only to come out and attempt to attack the United States.
As of this summer there were 12,633 Muslims in prison in England and Wales. While of the 147 convicted terrorists in UK jails, 137 defined themselves as Muslim.
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