- In recent times, recidivism has increased, as some of the released terrorists have carried out terrorist acts, including Ahmed Hassan (Parsons Green Bomber; 2017), Usman Khan (the London Bridge attacker; 2019), Kutjim Fejzulai (Central Vienna attacker; 2020), and Ali Harbi Ali (Murderer of Sir Amess; 2021).
What is recidivism?
- The act of continuing to commit crimes even after having been punished or the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend.
- For over a decade, counter-radicalisation programmes have been trying to de-radicalise and rehabilitate violent extremists and terrorists.
- Various countries have developed different counter-radicalisation programmes with varied results
- Some international policy organisations such as the Counter Extremism Project, and think-tanks like the European Policy Centre, have expressed concern that certain individuals receiving therapy at counter-radicalisation centres may have learnt the art of deceiving the psychologists and in passing the tests conducted there to procure an early release from the prisons.
- Furthermore, what is worrisome is that officials responsible for de-radicalisation programmes, such as Prevent(United Kingdom), have, in some instances, not been able to accurately assess those posing a grave danger to mainstream society.
- The professional counsellors reportedly perceive disguised compliance as an indication of severance of ties with violent extremist ideologies.
- However, this misplaced optimism can have cataclysmic repercussions for the overall community.
- The officials heading the de-radicalisation programmes outside prisons ought to approach the referred cases with similar caution.
- Although the lattermost has not committed terrorist acts, their ideological orientation could propel them towards inflicting violence in the foreseeable future.
- In both circumstances, terrorists and radicalised individuals could set in motion a chain of events wherein they could create an asymmetrical power dynamic vis-à-vis the state authorities.
- Through subterfuge, they could hoodwink the law-enforcement officials and mental health professionals, convincing the latter of innocence and commitment towards assimilation with the mainstream society, and adherence to the rule of law.
- This places the authorities in a significantly vulnerable position as they attempt to decipher and eliminate potential security threats within and outside prison environments.
Source: THE HINDU.