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Canadian inmates may join Jihadists: Expert warns

Published: 08/01/2013 10:56:00 PM GMT
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Ottawa: Inmates in the Canadian jails may get impressed by the ideology of some of companion prisoners who are radical Islamists and the change in their ideology might lead to increase in the manpower of Jihadists around the globe, this has been warned by a Canadian expert on prison radicalization.

By Farhan Iqbal


Ottawa: Inmates in the Canadian jails may get impressed by the ideology of some of companion prisoners who are radical Islamists and the change in their ideology might lead to increase in the manpower of Jihadists around the globe, this has been warned by a Canadian expert on prison radicalization.

The warning by the expert has raised concerns for the Canadian authorities who have proved themselves mighty efficient against terror activities in the country so far even though Canada has relatively few Jihadists behind bars.

Despite less number of radical Islamists in Canadian jails, the expert – Dr. Alexandre Wilner who is a Research Fellow with the Mandonald-Laurier Institute and a terrorism expert – said that the problem of Islamist ideology spreading among inmates is a real one and can cause damage to the country’s law and order situation.

Alexandre said, “This isn’t to say that all inmates will become radicals, or even that many will.”

“But it is to suggest that prison represents a potentially good window of opportunity for spreading radical views and recruiting others to a violent cause,” he added.

Wilner’s comments followed the release of a highly censored CSIS threat assessment that confirmed that Islamist radicalization or Jihadi ideology is taking place in Canadian prisons, within families and through jihadi websites.

The parts of the assessment said that the public has been allowed to see don’t indicate how large a problem Islamist radicalization is within Canada or offer specific examples of cases.

Wilner said that Canada is fortunate not to have as many Jihadists or other Islamist inmates as the US, Britain, France and Spain because it allows authorities here to intervene early in preventing radicalization.

“By gauging other countries’ policies for minimizing the risk of prison radicalization, we might be able to construct the sorts of things we need now in Canada to limit our susceptibility to the threat,” he suggested.

Among recommendations Wilner made to a special Senate anti-terror committee is a call for the RCMP, CSIS and the Correctional Service of Canada to take a more coordinated approach to understanding Islamist radicalization since the problem is still in its early stages.



Canadian prisoners

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