Captured terror suspect Salah Abdeslam now sits in an isolated cell inside a French maximum security prison. Before his extradition from
Belgium this week, the individual responsible for the recent terror attacks in both Paris and Brussels that killed over 150 people was known to prison officials as a model inmate and is being called "a very good boy."
This is not the first time a captured Islamist terrorist received this type of description. In 2013, Indiana U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson lauded the prison behavior of John Walker Lindh. Lindh, also known as the "American Taliban," is serving a 20-year sentence after he was captured by American forces in 2001 fighting alongside the jihadists in Afghanistan. He also carried an explosive device and was believed by many to be partly responsible in the death of a CIA Operations Officer named Johnny Micheal Spann. Spann was killed in 2001 when inmates in the Qali-Jangi prison at Mazar-e Sharif started a riot at the fortress in Afghanistan.
|John Walker Lindh
Appearing before Judge Magnus-Stinson, Lindh requested lightening some conditions of his confinement. The Bureau of Prisons opposed the changes, saying it believed Lindh remained a security risk.
The judge saw it differently, finding that although Lindh was convicted of the terrorist acts, "His scant, nonviolent disciplinary history during his incarceration has merited him a classification of low security."
In other words becoming "jail wise" can make you less of a threat to the United States. The term has become synonymous with inmates who have learned to work the system to their advantage by outwardly appearing to be compliant to prison rules without ever changing their criminal nature.
They don't call them "cons for nothing.
We know that Lindh did not attend any de-radicalization program specifically designed to treat radical Islamists because there is none in the United States prison system. What then of the terrorists incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay? As the administration pursues a policy of closing the prison at any cost, we find ex-detainees being sent to dubious locations.
Earlier this month, nine inmates were transferred from GITMO to Saudi Arabia. What awaits them there? The Saudis have a de-radicalization program that would be the envy of most captured jihadists.
Located at the al-Ha'ir prison outside of Riyadh, inmates can look forward to lavender walls, red carpet, queen size beds, a refrigerator, television and private showers. There is even an ATM so inmates can draw from their commissary accounts which the government replenishes every month. Married inmates are entitled to monthly conjugal visits with fresh linens, tea, and sweets provided on the nightstand. The Wahhabi/Salafist teachings prominent in Saudi Arabia allow men to have up to four legitimate wives, so inmates can actually get a wife to visit once a week. The de-radicalization philosophy there is to see the terrorists as misguided, or simply suffering from an ideological sickness which can be easily corrected with the proper treatment. Sounds simple and extravagant.
No wonder terrorists are calling for the closing of the Guantanamo prison. They want to go to the Islamic version of Disneyland.
Yet even with all these perks, a very real threat of recidivism remains which the Saudis have had to face. Several graduates of the program have gone on to become suicide bombers right there in Saudi Arabia. Others returned to the battlefield in countries outside the kingdom.
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