Belmarsh prison: 'The jihadi training camp right in heart of London UK'. (Standard).
Jamal, 27, a Muslim university graduate, served part of his sentence for bank fraud in Belmarsh maximum-security prison. He was released two weeks ago and turned whistleblower. This is his shocking testimony.
Soon after I arrived in Belmarsh in 2014, news came through that Mosul in Iraq had fallen to Islamic State and the prison erupted. There were chants of “Allahu Akbar”, wild banging on the doors and joyous shouting of “we are going to take over” throughout the wing. It was like a big party that went on unchecked for several hours.
I was devastated because I watched how prison officers seemingly took no action, leaving new inmates like myself with the impression that the real people in charge were not the warders, but a terrifying group of radical Islamists known as “the Brothers” or “the Akhi”, which is Arabic for brother.
We had around 200 people on our wing, about half of them Muslim, but there was a hard core of 20 “brothers” in for terrorism or terror-related of-fences who were very popular and had enormous influence. They were treated like celebrities by the other inmates and included the guy who in 2007 tried to blow up Glasgow airport.
There are about six imams in Belmarsh and apart from one, who was supportive, the other imams either ignored me or appeared to be sympathetic to the extremists. It was shocking. After that I kept my head down and only left my cell if I had to. All around I witnessed people being radicalised. Instantly you could see the change.
They would start to wear their trousers rolled below the knee, something Prophet Muhammad did, they would grow facial hair, they would call each other “Akhi” and they became hyper-aggressive towards anybody not into radical Islam. Read the full story here.
Belmarsh prison: 'The jihadi training camp right in heart of #London #UK— jasmine opperman (@jasminechic1) May 18, 2016
Insightful readinghttps://t.co/vvvw3xGq8x pic.twitter.com/xMR572sn2U