All the more reason to stem the uncontrolled tide of immigration until governments decide what is truly a “moderate” Muslim (more specifically than “not as extreme as the next guy”), and figure out who is already within their borders. “Europe jihadist push goes underground,” by William MacLean for Reuters, February 18:
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Prisons and private homes have taken over from mosques as recruiting hubs for Islamist radicals in Europe, a shift that cannot be tackled simply by short-term government security measures, an academic said on Wednesday.
Under pressure from state surveillance and disapproval from local communities, activists who once trawled high-profile mosques for recruits increasingly use more discreet venues including makeshift prayer halls and bookshops, said Peter Neumann, a political scientist at Kings College, London. “This pattern of withdrawal from open agitation is consistent across Western Europe,” said Neumann, author of “Joining al Qaeda,” a report on radicalisation in Europe published by an independent British-based think-tank.
“A lot of open activities that used to go on at mosques are now taking place in private flats and apartments, as mosques themselves become more vigilant and clamp down,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of a security conference in Belgium.
“It’s been driven underground. It’s much more difficult for people like Abu Hamza to be operating out in the open, although it doesn’t mean they have gone away,” he told Reuters. […]
Giving an example of the trend, the report, aimed at policymakers, said: “Mosques in Spain continue to be frequented by extremists, but potential recruits are now invited to private study group sessions as soon as a promising relationship has been established.”
Neumann said radicalisation and recruitment within prisons was likely to worsen, noting that before 2001 no European country with the exception of France had a significant Islamist militant prisoner population. Now there were hundreds of such prisoners in Britain and Spain alone, he said.
“Recent years have seen the emergence of radical Islamic prison gangs which — although not always overtly political in outlook — are highly aggressive in their rhetoric,” he said.
Neumann said such gangs provided inmates with a protective social network and a sense of self-esteem, the report says.
European security services, trying to strike a balance between protecting citizens and preserving civil liberties, had yet to formulate a full response to the trend, Neumann said.
“Sometimes they don’t know yet what to do about it. They have awareness (of the trend) but it doesn’t necessarily mean they have all the right solutions,” he said….