This article gives the impression that resentments fueled in prison give rise to jihadist sentiments. And I have no doubt that that’s true. But there is more involved as well. Why did Abdullah grant pardons to Zarqawi and other jihadists? What ideological conditions prevail outside the prison walls that lead people to be disposed to adopt the jihad ideology once inside them? To what extent does Abdullah himself share the overall goals of the jihad movement, even while perhaps eschewing their methods in whole or part? “Prison riots show al-Qaida sympathy,” from AP, :
AMMAN, Jordan “” Inmates rioted at three Jordanian prisons Wednesday over the fate of two convicted al-Qaida killers and a would-be suicide bomber, raising new concern about increasing sympathy for the network in Mideast prisons.
The prisoners took a high-ranking official hostage and injured several other police before the 14-hour standoff ended without major bloodshed.
Jordan later announced that it had arrested two Iraqi men and a would-be Libyan suicide bomber who belonged to al-Qaida and plotted an attack on an unspecified “vital civilian facility” in the capital, Amman.
While no details were given to link the riots and the arrests, they indicated Osama bin Laden’s network might be finding fertile recruiting grounds in pro-U.S. Jordan and elsewhere in the region….
The prison flare-ups indicated wide support, particularly in Jordanian jails, among detainees for al-Qaida and other militant groups.
“Prisons sometimes seem to be centers of attracting and recruiting terrorists, not for punishing them,” said Mustafa Alani, director of security and terrorism studies at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai.
“The solution is to understand that prisons alone are not enough.”…
King Abdullah II “” who must endorse any execution “” has granted amnesties to militants in the past, including al-Zarqawi, who was released from prison in 1999 and went on to train with bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Alani said prisons have been in part responsible for radicalizing many detainees and the problem was compounded by human rights violations, including torture.
“The prisons have become schools,” he said. “Al-Zarqawi’s hard-line views were formed in a Jordanian prison.”
Limited space also means many prisoners with extremist views are held together, allowing the chance to organize, Alani said.