Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Incarcerating Terrorists

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_98


An estimated 100,000 suspected terrorists are currently locked up in prisons throughout the world (Kruglanski et al. 2010). Some of the most influential terrorists are incarcerated in Western prisons, representing a significant security challenge: These prisoners have been known to conduct extensive outreach to other inmates and free-world extremists as well, instigating fear by claiming that anti-Western terrorists, including the 9/11 hijackers, should be remembered as martyrs and heroes.

A notable example is the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, who has been in US custody since 1993 for his role in the New York City Landmarks plot – a plan to bomb the United Nations Building, along with the New York office of the FBI and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. Years ago the Sheikh issued a fatwa, calling on al-Qaeda to attack the United States should he die in an American prison, which is most likely inevitable. Not only has the Sheikh’s fatwa reached worldwide audiences via the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology and Criminal JusticeIndiana State UniversityTerre HauteUSA