Thousands of EU prisoners may have been radicalized as Muslim militants, the security chief warns
Thousands of prisoners freed from European prisons at the end of their term of office may have been radicalized as Muslim militants, while the EU security chief warns
- Julian King said more than 1,000 people were being held in terrorist acts
- Others locked up for unrelated crimes may also have been radicalized, he said
- ISIS hunters returning to Europe from Syria are also a concern, he warned today
Thousands of prisoners who will soon be released from European prisons may have been radicalized while being warned in prison, the EU head warned today.
Julian King said that there are & # 39; thousands of such individuals & # 39; were at the end of their prison sentence.
About 1,100 people are being detained on charges of terrorism, King said, while others imprisoned for unrelated crimes may also have been radicalized.
Returning hunters from Syria are also a concern, the Commissioner said today at a press conference.
Warning: EU Security Commissioner Julian King (shown in Brussels) has warned that thousands of prisoners who may soon be freed may have been radicalized in prison
Since 2015, security forces in Europe have arrested hundreds of militants in the midst of a wave of deadly attacks.
& # 39; The jihadist threat has not disappeared. We cannot lower our guard in any way, & King said Wednesday.
& # 39; We face a challenge from those who have been persecuted and imprisoned in recent years for terrorist crimes that have come to an end and have been released.
"There are several thousand of such people in our prisons throughout Europe."
In addition, around 500 European hunters were detained in Syria after ISIS lost its last piece of territory earlier this year, he said.
He added that up to 1,400 children with at least one EU parent were also in Syria, half of whom are in prison.
Turkey launched a military offensive this month in the Kurdish-controlled Northeast region of Syria, where most ISIS militants are locked up.
Some militants are currently being repatriated by EU countries, but legal challenges result in lengthy operations.
& # 39; Of course, the events in Syria don't make that any easier at the moment, & # 39; said King.
Locked up: the fate of ISIS prisoners in Syria – some of whom are seen in a cell last week – is also worrying European security forces
The fate of captured ISIS hunters has been highly controversial in Europe since the supposed & # 39; caliphate & # 39; of the terror group collapsed earlier this year.
Security experts have warned that it may be difficult to prove criminal charges against hundreds of hunters, meaning that dozens or even hundreds of ISIS supporters roam freely in Europe.
The European Union set up a common counter-terrorism register last month in the hope of making convictions easier.
The new tool could also help prevent new attacks in Europe, as prosecutors have access to more information about suspects, officials hope.
It is believed that French jihadists are the largest contingent of European ISIS recruits.
An ISIS cell of French and Belgian hunters previously crossed Syria to Turkey and launched deadly attacks on Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016.
Donald Trump has threatened to drop jihadist hunters on the British border & # 39; if Britain does not take back its captured terrorists.
The president called his European allies a & # 39; huge disappointment & # 39; in a furious attack just after he announced the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Sunday.
The US would not pay for hundreds of jihadists held in Guantanamo Bay for the next 50 years, & Trump warned.
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