- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The European Union’s anti-terror chief says that jihadis returning from the Middle East should be undergo “major rehabilitation” instead being subjected to jail time.

Gilles de Kerchove said Tuesday that “if we can avoid prison, let’s avoid prison,” in an interview with The Associated Press. “We know how much jails are major incubators of radicalization. Much better, provided they accept to do that, they undertake major rehabilitation,” he added.

Mr. de Kerchove’s comments, made from Brussels, come just weeks after the Jan. 7-9 Paris terrorist attacks, which killed 17 people. Jihadis with proven blood on their hands would not be eligible for the rehabilitation programs.

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On Tuesday, Denmark moved forward with a plan to de-radicalize Islamic radicals, AP reported. Over $9 million for the next three years was earmarked for the program.

“[This] is in no way a reward, a second chance on a silver plate. It is about protecting society, and avoid having people running around with a knife or an ax,” Swedish terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp said, AP reported. “Many countries rely on repression but punitive methods are a recipe to create resentment toward the society,” he added.

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