When radicalised terror offenders are released from prison, how should they be dealt with?
Two recent attacks in London have brought the question into sharp focus because both involved extremist offenders carrying out knife attacks despite being on the radar of security services.
Sudesh Amman, 20, carried out the Streatham attack last month only 10 days after his release from jail. It was a case that reverberated across Europe, where other offenders will soon be freed.
The UK quickly passed legislation to block the automatic early release of convicted terror offenders. Other European countries are grappling with the same balance between security and civil liberties. For terror offenders, a second chance comes with many strings attached.
How many terror offenders are there?
Hundreds will be released from European prisons within the next few years, figures suggest. Europol, the EU’s law enforcement arm, gives an idea of the numbers.
From 2016 to 2018, Spain had the most court cases for terror offences (343) in the EU, followed by the UK (329), France (327) and Belgium (301).
In 2018, 61% of verdicts for those cases in EU states were classed as “jihadist terror offences”. This verdict trend, Europol said, started in 2015 – a year after the Islamic State (IS) group declared its caliphate in the Middle East.
Radicalised by IS, jihadists carried out a series of atrocities. The November Paris attacks…