Prison chiefs have linked an attack on a prison officer to the Lee Rigby murder and warned prison staff of an increased risk of threats, according to reports – while an increasing number of Muslim inmates complain they are being intimidated to join the Muslim Brotherhood, a prison gang, and some have received injuries following a refusal to do so.
A male prison officer was left with a broken cheekbone after being held hostage by three male prisoners, two aged 25 and one aged 26, at HMP Full Sutton in Yorkshire on Sunday.
An email circulated to staff in top-security jails and young offender institutions and seen by The Times said: “Three Muslim prisoners took an officer hostage in an office.
“Their demands indicated they supported radical Islamist extremism.
“All staff are reminded to remain vigilant to the increased risk of potential attacks on prison officers inspired by these and last Wednesday’s events.”
Counter-terrorism officers have been brought in to investigate the attack at the maximum security jail, during which a female warder was also injured.
So far, 10 people have been held by detectives investigating the young soldier’s death, including Adebowale and Adebolajo.
These include a 50-year-old man, arrested on Monday, who was released on bail yesterday.
A 22-year-old man arrested in Highbury, north London, on Sunday and three men detained on Saturday over the killing have all been released on bail, as has a fifth man, aged 29.
Two women, aged 29 and 31, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder but later released without charge.
Mark Leech editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said he was aware of an ‘increasing number of complaints’ from Muslim prisoners in the High Security prison estate who claim to have been intimidated to join the prison-based ‘Muslim Brotherhood’.
Mr Leech said: “Radicalisation of Muslims in the High Security Estate is nothing new and the existence of the Muslim Brotherhood is equally well-known, what I find disturbing is that I have seen an increasing number of Muslim inmates and their families complaining that their loved ones are being intimidated into joining this group and some have received injuries, perhaps unconnected with their refusal, after persistently declining to join.
“One firm of personal injury solicitors I am in touch with confirm they act for a Muslim inmate seriously injured in Full Sutton prison after he continually refused to join the Full Sutton Muslim Brotherhood – unusually and perhaps of significance is the fact that prison staff at HMP Full Sutton have given evidence supporting his case.
“Prison gangs like the Muslim Brotherhood can feed on fear and perpetrate a belief that there is safety in numbers – we should not forget that the Prison Inspection report published in April 2013 on Full Sutton said:
We had two main areas of concern. First, the perceptions of black and minority ethnic prisoners and Muslim prisoners about many aspects of their treatment and conditions were much more negative than for white and non-Muslim prisoners. For example, significantly fewer told us staff treated them with respect and significantly more said they felt unsafe.
“Treating all prisoners with respect and equality is the challenge for the management of Full Sutton, a Maximum Security prison which in so many other respects has shown itself well able to rise to difficult challenges and overcome them – and on this important one it must not be allowed to fail.”