Thursday, May 19, 2011

Prison no impediment for terrorists

New research from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute suggests Indonesia's prisons, far from setting terrorist inmates on the straight-and-narrow, are giving them space to organise themselves and plan new attacks.

The full report is available here, but Greg Sheridan has two interesting pieces on the study in The Australian today.

In his news piece, he summarises the research thus:

TERRORISTS have set up shadow governments in Indonesian prisons, recruiting members, sending money from jail to jail and, at least once, co-ordinating an attack outside.

They run businesses, use mobile phones to preach sermons to followers outside and dominate prison mosques, says a report released last night by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

And in his analysis piece, he explains the significance of the research:

It is worth noting that this kind of fresh, empirical evidence is as precious as gold in the war on terror. Instead of attributing motives and causes and syndromes to the terrorists, often enough projecting our own fantasies on to them, let's actually ask them why they did what they did, look at their life experiences, what they plan for the future, and see what we can learn.

Fascinating. And disturbing.

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