Counter Terror Business 46
Radicalisation behind bars
‘There has been a steady drumbeat over recent years of terrorist attacks against prison officers, and an increasing number of individuals who may well have formed their terrorist intent in prison under the influence of high-status terrorist prisoners.’
Those were the words of Jonathan Hall QC in January this year after an inquiry into the way prisons deal with convicted terrorists was launched amid concerns of growing radicalisation behind bars.
Following a series of high-profile cases, including the 2019 London Bridge attack when Usman Khan, a terrorist prisoner out on licence, stabbed two people to death, Hall said that ‘we need scrutiny of how prisons operate to either contain, or worse encourage, terrorism’.
It was under this microscope that CTB365, the digital events arm of the Counter Terror Business, recently hosted a ‘Radicalisation & Extremism’ online interactive event. We have summed up some of the discussion points from our six expert speakers on page 42, but with such a timely and relevant topic, the conversation should not end here.
The inquest into the deaths of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones continues and, with the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill set to end automatic halfway release from prison for serious crimes, there will be more to follow soon, I expect.
Michael Lyons, editor