By Patrick Hillman for VICE. Tuesday’s horrific attacks in Brussels, which killed at least 31 people and left well over 200 injured, have brought shock and soul-searching. At publication time two brothers, Khalid and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, were named as the suicide bombers who struck at a metro station and airport respectively, while a third suspect, Najim Laachraoui, was still being sought in a major manhunt. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility.
The attacks have already provoked Islamophobic rhetoric and desperate refugees are likely to be scapegoated (step forward Donald Trump, who vowed to keep “these people” out of America and re-embraced waterboarding). Still, the dozens of Islamist terrorists who have carried out recent attacks in Europe havenotbeen refugees. What many of themdohave in common, however, is that they have been to prison.
And the facts about prison and radicalization in Western Europe point to one logical response to terrorism (among all the other things that should be done) that might not seem so obvious: Decriminalize drugs.