Was machen eigentlich die Islamisten, die verhaftet wurden? Sie sitzen nicht im Knast und spielen Karten. Nein, sie nutzen die Zeit um sich weiter zu bilden. Es gibt Gefängnisse, die regelrecht zu Schulen für Terroristen geworden sind.
AMMAN, Jordan - Radicals riot in jails in Jordan and
Afghanistan. Al-Qaida convicts break out of a Yemen cell block. In the struggle to contain extremists, holding such prisoners together may lead to more unrest — or turn jails into "schools" where al-Qaida passes on its violent ideology.
"It is a huge problem. The spread of jihadism has increased significantly as has the number of people being arrested," Rohan Gunaratna, a Singapore-based terrorism expert, said Thursday.
A top Jordanian judicial official said Wednesday's riots at three prisons showed that detained militants were likely using the Internet, mobile phones or visitors to pass messages.
"What happened in the prisons was very dangerous and we have to find out how the detainees coordinated with each other," said Judge Ali al-Dhmour, secretary-general of the Justice Ministry.
Some people ask whether it might be better to hold militants in prisons in the West, or perhaps to devote more effort to rehabilitation.
Experts say a key problem in Jordan is the lumping together inside jails of common criminals and Islamic extremists, including members of the al-Qaida in
Iraq network headed by Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
"These jails are like schools or universities for Islamic extremists, where they influence other prisoners and spread their 'takfiri' views," said Sameeh Khreis, a Jordanian lawyer who represents militants.