UK prison guards on alert for copycat Islamists
Prison officers in Britain have been put on alert amid fears of copycat attacks from fanatical Muslim prisoners following the murder of a soldier in Woolwich.
The Prison Service warned staff after an officer at Full Sutton high security jail near York was held hostage and allegedly assaulted by Muslim inmates on Sunday.
It is believed that the prisoners had been angered by a prison imam's request on Friday to pray for the family of Drummer Lee Rigby. The 25-year-old soldier was killed in Woolwich last Wednesday. The two suspects are alleged to be Islamic extremists.
Prison service leaders fear that jailed extremists, especially in high security establishments, may try to attack officers.
An email sent to all staff warned them to remain vigilant, particularly where officers are former members of the forces. One prison source said: "It asks people to review their policies and risk assessments."
Counter-terrorism police officers have been called in to investigate the incident at Full Sutton, suggesting that it is being treated as an ideologically motivated attack.
A male officer was allegedly grabbed by three prisoners near the kitchens on Sunday and held hostage for four hours. He suffered a broken cheekbone and wounds to his face and neck. A female officer suffered cuts to her arm as she tried to help. (© Daily Telegraph, London)