Indian Dhiren Barot leads Al Qaeda attack on other offenders at Brit prison

February 10th, 2008 - 10:56 am ICT by admin  

London, Feb.10 (ANI): Officers at the high security Frankland Prison in the Britain’s Durham County are reportedly struggling to control a group of al-Qaeda terrorists led by British Indian Dhiren Barot from clashing with other serious offenders. There have been three attacks in the past three weeks.

According to The Guardian, the prison is home to an estimated 20 al-Qaeda members and sympathisers, all serving long sentences for planning atrocities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Apart from Barot, who has been jailed for 30 years, the other prominent leader is Omar Khyam, who has been jailed for at least 20 years for plotting to blow up the Bluewater shopping centre and the Ministry of Sound nightclub.

The Prison Officers Association (POA) has claimed that many of those involved had been moved to Frankland from Belmarsh Prison in London.

“They don’t want to be in Frankland; they want to be in Belmarsh with their friends. They are getting more organised and want to be together in one place, which is scary,” the paper quoted Steve Gough, the vice-chairman of the POA, as saying.

“We are struggling to contain it. It’s having an effect on other prisoners,” he added.

Last month, Khyam was alleged to have scalded another inmate, Malcolm Cruddas, an armed robber. Last year Barot received extensive burns after being attacked by one of the inmates. The charges against the alleged attacker were later dropped at the request of Barot himself.

In a lengthy email to an Islamist website, Barot recently outlined his concerns about what he called ‘oppressive conditions’ in Frankland. He said he was subject to three intensive cell searches in a fortnight and two visits to the segregation block in a week because he was suspected of having a mobile phone. He also claimed that he had been denied ’suitable’ Islamic literature and CDs.

Prison Service Director-General Phil Wheatley told a conference of prison service employees last week that there had been six disturbances in British prisons in January alone.

Concerns about the threat that al-Qaeda sympathisers pose to Britain’s prisons come as the government prepares to clamp down on extremist groups operating in Britain’s schools system.

Bill Rammell, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, has said that he will release guidance to students on Monday outlining how extremist groups operate and target their prospective victims. (ANI)

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