Brussels: The intelligence agencies have warned that the extremists and the terrorists that have been released from the prisons in the European countries, can pose a danger to the European security. Hundreds of extremists and terrorists lodged in prisons in different countries like the UK, France, Belgium and Spain are about to be released in the near future and they can be instrumental in fresh terror attacks in Europe, warned the intelligence agencies. Only last week, the Europol, the security agency of the European Union (EU) had warned about the dangers of terrorism in Europe.
80 people lost their lives and more than 800 were injured in the 15 terror attacks that took place in 2015. The IS has been primarily responsible for most of the terror attacks in Europe and since the last year, IS has been losing ground in Syria and Iraq. In view of this loss of ground, the IS terrorists from Iraq and Syria will move to Europe and carry out attacks here, is what the intelligence agencies had warned.
While the European agencies are working to stop the entry of terrorists from Iraq and Syria, they are faced with this new challenge of the terrorist release from prison. Around the year 2000, about 500 suspected terrorists and extremists had been lodged into the prisons in France. Senior official in the French anti-terrorist agency informed that these extremists will be released before the year 2020.
A French report had revealed that about 1500 prison inmates have turned into extremists after being in the prison with terrorists, who have been serving long sentences. Yves Trotignon, a former senior official with the French intelligence had admitted that due to some mistakes made by the French agencies, prisons have become schools for extremists.
There are about 200 terrorists in the British prison and many of them are likely to be released soon. In Belgium, about 200 extremists were jailed under the terrorism charges prior to and after the 2016 attacks. The experts on terrorism have warned that some out of those being released, could have been inspired for new terror attacks. The Dutch defence lawyer handling terrorist cases, Andre Seebregts has also claimed that the extremists jailed under the terror charges, can take the same path after their release.
It is alleged that the agencies responsible for keeping a watch on the extremists and terrorists prior to their detainment, do not however keep a proper vigil after they are jailed or when they are released from there. Cherif Kouachi, the main accused in the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack in France, had been jailed in 2005. Subsequently, he was released in 2008. Cherif Kouachi and his brother Said gave a slip to the French agencies, pointed out the officers.
This kind of negligence will not be acceptable in view of the 2015 and 2016 attacks and the European agencies have begun to stress upon the surveillance of the terrorists when in prison and even after their release. But this process is suffering a setback due to lack of manpower with the government.
Meanwhile, as per a Europol report, around 1000 people had been arrested in the last year under the charges of extremism and terrorism. At the same time, along with the IS, attacks from terrorists of the ‘Al Qaeda’ and ‘Lone Wolf’ have also been warned against, as a threat to European security.