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    UK Prisons 'Are Universities of Jihadism,' Terrorism Expert Tells Sputnik

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    A leaked government report reveals that Muslim chaplains appointed by Britain's Ministry of Justice are distributing hate literature in UK prisons and radicalizing inmates.

    The review commissioned by Justice Secretary Michael Gove found extremist pamphlets and CDs in ten jails in November. A copy of the report which has not been cleared for publication — was obtained by London newspaper The Times.

    According to the newspaper, Muslim chaplains working in prisons encouraged prisoners to raise money for Islamic charities with links to international terrorism.

    However, revelations that British prisons have links with Islamist extremism are nothing new.  

    "When you have people involved in crime and looking to repent, it provides fabulous material for jihad," terrorism expert Professor Paul Moorcraft told Sputnik.

    The number of Muslim prisoners in jails in England and Wales has dramatically increased in the last decade. There are currently 12,328 Muslim inmates in prison accounting for almost 15 percent of inmates compared with 6,571 in 2004.

    Professor Moocraft, author of 'The Jihadist Threat: The Reconquest of the West' told Sputnik the risk of radicalization of prisoners by imams is also due to "a contamination by Deobandi imams who are radicalizing inmates — not de-radicalizing them.

    "Prisons are 'considered to be universities of jihadism,' " Moorcraft told Sputnik.

    "The Ministry of Justice is fully aware that the people in charge of selecting the imams are dubious — but there has been so much political correctness that the issue of radicalization in jails has been ignored. It doesn't take much to look into their backgrounds."

    The Times reports that 70 percent of Muslim chaplains are clerics from the Diabandi sect — a conservative movement founded 150 years ago, "dedicated to reversing British rule in India," Moorcraft told Sputnik. "They are anti-British and hostile to integration." 

    In February 2015, during the first speech on prisons by a British Prime Minister in 20 years, David Cameron promised to tackle extremism.

    "There is a new front we need to open: tackling extremism. We have around 1,000 prisoners who have been identified as extremist or vulnerable to extremism… As we know, through intimidation, violence and grooming, some of these individuals are preying on the weak, forcing conversions to Islam and spreading their warped view of the world… That's why Michael Gove has commissioned a review of this issue."

    The government's extremism review began in September 2015. The report contains 69 recommendations and was presented to the justice secretary in March 2016 — however, the leaked details have just emerged.

    Related:

    Islamist Gangs Increasingly Recruiting at UK Jails
    Rise in UK Radicalization Referrals Down to "Dragnet" Approach to Muslims
    Kids Under Nine Among 4,000 People Referred to UK's Anti-Terror Program
    Bringing Down Daesh: UK Gov't Pouring Resources Into Fighting Terror Online
    Tags:
    jihad, radicalization, extremism, prisoners, prisons, Michael Gove, David Cameron, Great Britain, United Kingdom
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