The Europe of today is a multi-ethnic multi-religious society on a highly globalised stage with mass movement of people, assets and ideas. Not even the penitentiary institutions can get away from this, from this, as it is demonstrated by the fact that there are something like 50.000 Muslims in Europe’s prisons, of which about 500 are there for crimes relating to terrorism and who remain well connected with the external culture responsible for feeding terrorist networks.
From numerous examples, cases, judicial and investigative evidences – precisely reported in the project outputs- we know full well that the European, American, Canadian and Arab prisons are exposed to the new threats of radicalisation and proselytism as a consequence of this globalisation.
These questions are the focal point of the analysis carried out by a partnership leaded by Agenfor, Italy, with the support of the Muslim Community of Venice (CRII, Italy), the Association Droit au Droit (DaD, Belgium), the Provveditorato alle Carceri di Padova (Italian Ministry of Justice) and ITIC (Israel). The study of scientific literature, of compiled case histories and interviews carried out during the course of the project have allowed us to identify an ever-changing threat defined as radicalisation. It is a process, it is dynamic and it is part of a greater, far more reaching trend which starts from single individual, sociological or psychological data, passes through the structured khawariji and takfiri narratives and other similar forms of religious modernism (islah), to eventually evolve towards jihadism or pseudo-Islamic terrorism in its various forms, both collective and individual. The final research outlines a comprehensive model to assess and detect the dynamic of radicalisation articulating the process in four phases: Pre-radicalisation, Self-Identification, Indoctrination and Jihadisation.
Besides the dynamic process, the model designed by the Agenfor-researchers provides for some elements of matrix assessment, which permits specific indicator to be profilated and used by penitentiary staff and volunteers working in prisons. These indicators belong to a matrix composed of ‘opportunities’ (which means the places where the process of radicalisation can be facilitated), ‘triggers’ (those aspects of Jihadi literature which mark out the passage from orthodox to other unorthodox dimensions) and ‘catalysts’ (for example journeys to areas of conflicts or military training). This model has been validated through a training course for trainers and the confrontation with a multi-disciplinary Expert’s Panel, through which the project designed a new strategy to detect, prevent and counter radicalisation and proselytism in their penitentiary dynamic.
This is based on three pillars: