The U.S. prison system has no programs in place aimed at de-radicalizing convicted terrorists, introducing the sinister possibility that putting radicals in prisons could simply allow their ideology to grow, according to a new study.
The report, compiled by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, claims that the U.S. lags behind other Western countries in developing programs to de-radicalize captured Islamic radicals, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, one of the reports authors, claims that while the U.S. doesn’t face the same number of ISIS or other terrorists as France or Sweden do, it is essential to ensure that prisons don’t become incubators of radical Islam.
“We have seen in Europe how extremist networks are created and cultivated in prisons with large populations of jihadis,” Meleagrou-Hitchens told WSJ. “As this contingent continues to grow in U.S. federal prisons, we are likely to see similar patterns here.”
A problem with such programs, however, is that many argue they are simply an excuse to target American Muslims. A recent FBI program targeted at dissuading teenagers from radicalization met accusations of racial and religious profiling.
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The “Dont Be A Puppet” campaign warns users against religious and environmental extremism, white supremacy, and anarchists. In response, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee wrote a letter along with several other groups objecting to a particular scene in which an Arab-American woman is reporting a religious hate crime and refers to the FBI as “the enemy.”
Nonetheless, at least two members of the terror cell responsible for the 2015 Paris attacks met in prison. In the U.S., both terrorists responsible for the Halloween truck attack and December’s botched pipe bomb attack are now incarcerated. There are roughly 140 inmates incarcerated on charges of supporting ISIS, according to WSJ.
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