UK considering British Gitmo for extremists: Report
The United Kingdom is said to be considering plans for the opening of its own version of the notorious US military prison, Guantanamo, for what it calls ‘Muslim extremists.’
A review by Justice Secretary Michael Gove, due to be published in March, is examining how ‘convicted extremists’ behave in prison.
According to the Telegraph, the proposal to hold extremists separately was reportedly raised in discussions as part of a review into radicalization in jails.
The prospect of putting scores of extremists in one place and separating them from other inmates, such as the special secure unit at Belmarsh, was hinted at by the UK prime minister this week.
David Cameron said that about 1,000 prisoners have been identified as extremists or vulnerable to extremism and that some were preying on the weak.
“I am prepared to consider major changes: from the imams we allow to preach in our prisons to changing locations and methods for dealing with prisoners convicted of terrorism offences, if that is what is required,” Cameron said.
One prison source told The Times, “If we could identify extremists spreading the wrong messages, it would be a good idea to hold them separately to stop them having the opportunity of infecting other inmates with their views.”
But the suggestion of a single prison for convicted terrorists was dismissed by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) on Saturday.
An MoJ spokesperson said, “This story is wrong. No plans for a single prison for terrorist prisoners are under discussion or form part of any review.”
Opponents of putting them in one jail or a secure unit within a prison fear that it could provide a focal point for protest and lead to allegations that it was a “British Guantanamo.”
Guantanamo was established by former president George W. Bush’s administration in 2002 as a prison for alleged foreign terrorism suspects following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US.
A Senate report in December 2014 revealed that the CIA has used a wide array of torture as part of its interrogation methods against Guantanamo prisoners.