A couple of days ago, 20-year-old Sudesh Amman stabbed multiple people in south London. When knowledge was released that Amman, who was previously convicted of terror offenses and sentenced to prison for three years and four months, was just released from prison this January, the news shocked the British public.
It is not the only incident involving an Islamic radical who was released from prison early, with the recent attack in November 2019 on London Bridge which killed two people involving another convicted Islamist who only served half his prison sentence.
The incidents have horrified not only UK citizens but have also prompted discussion about rehabilitation efforts for Islamists.
Speaking after the attack, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shared his opinion on the difficulties of handling Britain’s radical Islamists.
“I think, looking at the problems we have with re-educating and reclaiming and rehabilitating people who succumb to Islamism, it’s very, very hard, and very tough, and it can happen, but the instances of success are really very few,” admitted Johnson.
Answering a journalist’s question of whether terror convicts released from prison are no danger to the public, Johnson stated that society has to be frank while discussing this issue.
“We need to think about how we handle that in our criminal justice system,” added Johnson.
Considering how unsuccessful deradicalization efforts are, Johnson said it is a “very difficult thing to do” due to “a big psychological barrier,” prompting the British prime minister to stress the importance of the custodial option.
A new approach to imprisoning convicted Islamists instead of releasing them would lead to abandoning automatic early release for “serious” terrorists and violent or sexual offenders. However, numerous existing terror convicts are already currently preparing for an early release from prison, leading to concern when the next attack might occur.
Therefore, Johnson wants to ensure that Islamists will not be able to ask for early release, retroactively.
Cities like London, Brussels, and Paris, which have large Muslim populations, have all been the target of dozens of Islamist terrorist attacks over the years.
London’s Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is infamous for having said that terrorist attacks are “part and parcel of living in a big city“, which led to a wave of criticism from a number of Western leaders and media outlets. Many pointed out that cities like Budapest, Warsaw and Prague suffered no Islamic terrorist attacks despite being large and metropolitan cities.
Due to the scale and consistency of Islamic terror attacks in Europe, some have also tied the terrorism issue to ongoing migration to the European continent, with many of those responsible for the attacks either recent migrants or second- or third-generation migrants who came from Middle Eastern countries.
“Of course it’s not accepted, but the factual point is that all the terrorists are basically migrants,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. “The question is when they migrated to the European Union.”