WHEN more than 30 Muslim inmates get down on their prayer mats inside Goulburn’s Supermax prison and bow towards Mecca, it doesn’t much bother serial killer Ivan Milat.
As Ivan revealed in exclusive letters to news.com.au, he is one of just a handful of non-Muslim prisoners inside Australia’s most secure jail. The seven times backpacker killer keeps to himself and leaves the convicted radical terrorists to their own, catered for by special prison diets, prison issue green prayer mats and copies of the Koran and the freedom to pray five times a day.
Not all the extremist Muslims in the High Risk Management Correctional Centre, Supermax’s official name, were convicted of plotting terrorist acts. Some of them are murderers and originally from Christian families, who converted to Islam behind bars.
But as The Australian reported, Islam has become an obsession for the violent inmates who practice the religion inside Supermax. For this reason Supermax, a jail inside NSW”s grimmest correctional complex 195km southwest of Sydney, is often referred to as “Super mosque”.
The Herald Sun describes a visit.
Anyone who thinks Australia does not have a problem with prison radicalisation should visit SuperMax during prayer time. They are all here. The names and faces behind a thousand headlines heralding mayhem and death. And with a handful of exceptions, the entire population of the SuperMax observes this daily ritual. They all believe the same thing: “There is no God but Allah and this is where He wants me.” For now.
When Islamic State broke through the Syrian border in June 2014, annexing northern Iraq and declaring a caliphate, Australia’s prisons filled with a new generation of Muslim extremists ensnared by the ISIS ideology of do-it-yourself violence. In Australia, 62 people were charged after 27 separate counter-terrorism operations in little more than two years. A problem that once lurked in mosques, chat rooms and obscure prayer halls was transferred, en masse, into the prison system. That was the good news. The bad news is they are more dangerous than they have ever been, their radical beliefs entrenched in the same system that locked them up in the first place. And soon, some of them will be up for release. A system that is supposed to remove threats from the community is, in fact, incubating them for future generations….
Visits like this are rare in SuperMax and already the prisoners are getting toey. Young men with bushy Salafist beards press their faces against the heavy safety glass in their cell doors. Before long the shouting starts. “Power to Islam!” “The truth shall set you free!” and “Allahu Akbar!”
And as the national newspaper exclusively revealed, even the state’s prisons commissioner Peter Severin acknowledges that Supermax and its majority of inmates who are either convicted of terrorism offences or on remand awaiting trial, is a hotbed of radical Islam.
Mr Severin has recommended new laws be drawn up to detain up to 11 convicted terrorists beyond their prison terms.