Khalid Masood, 52, the man responsible for the London terror attack on Wednesday, was an Islam convert who also stayed in prison for various offenses. A community group has raised the alarm that people are increasingly being "radicalized" in UK 's prisons. The group is urgently asking the government to do something about it.
Intelligence officials are now investigating whether Masood was groomed and influenced in jail.
Research from the Henry Jackson Society says Muslim converts are four times more likely to commit terrorism offenses compared to those born into the faith.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Association has warned that it received reports about attempts to recruit criminals in jails to carry out acts of violence on British streets. The group's President Rafiq Hayat said the government must look into such reports and must do something to ensure that it does not happen in UK prisons.
Anti-radicalization campaigners have said that Masood's case is unusual because those who have been radicalized at an older age would be harder to convince to commit terror acts because of their commitment and obligations to their families. Many of them end up as recruiters instead. That is why much of the focus of anti-radicalization campaigners in the past focused with younger recruits and converts because they have a higher potential to carry out terror attacks.
While it has yet to be fully known where Masood's indocrination started- whether it is in prison or outside of it after serving his sentence. There are worrying similarities with his case and that previous terrorist are likely to be converted being in jail, and using knife as a weapon in carrying out the terror attack.
Masood was also found out to have traveled to Muslim country, Saudi Arabia, thrice in the last decade. He stayed in the Middle East country for more than year in two of his trips. He gained a working visa and held a job as an English teacher. Saudi Arabia officials said he was not on their terror watch list. Masood's last travel to Saudi Arabia was in 2015 where he stayed for only a few days.
Saudi officials have also sent their sympathies to the British government for Wednesday's attack, and promised to continue working and cooperating with them in fighting terrorism.