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There are ways to stop extremists in prison spreading their hatred
by Ed Husain
Locking up terrorists is not a solution to the long-term danger they pose. We forget that modern jihadism was born in the prisons of Egypt in the Sixties. Extremists thrive in prison: they have the time and space to spread their poison among bored fellow inmates.
Today Britain's jails provide fertile soil for extremism to grow. In 2002, there were 5,502 inmates who said they were Muslim. By 2014 the number had more than doubled, with more than 12,000 prisoners in England and Wales who claimed to be Muslim.
As terrorism-related convictions increase, radical ideas risk taking root. From al Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamist extremists earn prestige and new contacts in prison. Radical ideas incubate in jail and across the world prisons are ripe breeding grounds for extremists.
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