22 January 2015
Between 2005 and 2006, Chérif Kouachi, one of the two Charlie Hebdo attackers, was imprisoned in the Fleury-Mérogis jail. While this appears to have facilitated his behavioral transition to violent extremism, it did not constitute a “triggering event”.
Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, commentators have highlighted the central role of prisons in the radicalization of juvenile delinquents. This was observed by political scientist Myriam Benraad who said “passage through French prisons plays a key role”. Illustrative of this argument are Mohammed Merah and Mehdi Nemmouche, two young Franco-Algerian responsible for the deadly shooting of eight people in the city of Toulouse in 2012 and four people in Brussels in 2013, respectively. Both spent time in French jails. Mohammed Merah spent 21 months behind bars while Mehdi Nemmouche was incarcerated for five years.
…Romain Quivooij is an Associate Research Fellows with the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
CENS / Online
Last updated on 03/12/2015