It was reported last month that a convicted terrorist, Rafik Y, was shot dead in Berlin, after stabbing a police officer in the neck. It must be noted that he was not one of the recent migrants fleeing from Syria, so he was not an ISIS agent sent over in the throng.
But what is disturbing is that he was sentenced to 8 years in prison for membership of a terrorist organisation, Ansar al-Islam, and for his involvement in a plot to assasinate the then Iraqi Prime Minister, in 2008. Out of jail early/ on parole, but clearly not rehabilitated.
Furthermore, it was reported by Bild that he had only just had his electronic monitoring tag removed, hours before he stabbed the police officer. It brings to mind Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s statement that what we are fighting is an ideology. This ideology – Islam – is deeply ingrained, it doesn’t just go away, and it needs serious confrontation in the battle of ideas.
And it raises some questions. What does this mean for our approaches to jailing convicted terrorists? What are the rates of recidivism? Are jail terms for convicted terrorists meant for rehabiliation, as deterrence, or merely to keep them locked away?