Security officials in France, Germany and Austria have developed a manual to assist prison authorities in curbing Muslim extremism among inmates. The manual was distributed in Saint-Denis, outside of Paris, in a two-day closed-door conference of European security experts with the aim of distributing it to prison personnel. Christophe Chaboud, head of France’s Anti-Terrorist Coordination Unit, suggests that the prison system “can be a facilitator and an accelerator” of radicalization and inmates are often “strongly destabilized” and therefore malleable and vulnerable. A disproportionate number of Muslims can be found in prisons throughout the European Union. For security reasons, the manual has not been made public.
National Prison Administration Director Claude d’Harcourt claims that the problem isn’t the 80 inmates currently in France considered to be hardcore extremists, “It’s the circle around them – 200 to 300 who could be tempted.” President of the Interior, Michèle Alliot-Marie, also listed the internet and universities as possible spaces for training and passing along of information used in religious radicalism.