UK prisoners converting to Islam for gang protection

January 13th, 2009 - 7:04 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 13 (ANI): Prisoners at one of the Britains top security prisons are converting to Islam for protection because of a rife gang culture, an inspection report has said.

Inmates at Long Lartin prison said some were becoming Muslim because it is a bigger gang, The Telegraph reported.

Radical cleric Abu Qatada, once described as Osama bin Ladens right-hand man in Europe, was held at the prison last year before being released on bail, which he went on to breach.

Similar concerns were raised in an inspection report in to Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire last year, in which prison officers warned extremist Muslim prisoners are ganging up on others in an attempt to radicalise them.

Inspectors at Long Lartin, in Worcestershire, were told gang culture was widespread.

One inmate said: Yes there is a gang culture here which is becoming an issue. A lot of people are becoming Muslim just because its a bigger gang.

There are issues with Muslim gangs wanting to overpower others, another inmate said.

One inmate added: Muslim gangs; if you have a problem with one, you have a problem with them all, while a fourth inmate said: People are converting to Islam for protection.

The report, for chief inspector Anne Owers, also found drug debts have led to violence among prisoners, the paper said.

Inmates use phones to organise sales of class A drugs such as heroin, it said. (ANI)

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