All by Himself in Fleury-Mérogis

Salah Abdeslam is allegedly one of the architects of last November’s jihad massacres in Paris. As one of the few surviving conspirators in those atrocities, he was badly wanted by the French authorities. When he was eventually apprehended in Belgium last winter, the French government requested his extradition. Now he is ensconced in a very secure accommodation in a French maximum-security prison.

The following clip gives a brief account of the living conditions now enjoyed by Salah Abdeslam. Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


0:00   High-security building of the Fleury-Mérogis prison, the fourth and last floor.
0:06   Salah Abdeslam lives in a classical secured cell;
0:10   another one, identical, is empty, just in case it is necessary.
0:14   A third one was transformed, just for him, into a gym, with a rowing machine,
0:18   and the last one into a monitoring station, occupied by a guard 24/7.
0:24   Abdeslam is scrutinized: everything he does in put in a notebook; he is also filmed at all times,
0:28   including in the toilet and in the shower. “It’s very impressive. There’s a half dozen cameras,
00:32   capable of zooming in with perfect sharpness and clarity on what he’s reading and what he’s eating,”
0:37   says MP Thierry Solère who visited the prison.
0:41   Abdeslam cooks, watches a lot of reality TV,
0:45   does push ups, prays and reads, mostly the Quran,
0:48   but also other books brought by his family when they visited him a couple of times.
0:53   Those visits took place in a glass parlor, without the possibility of physical contact.
0:57   The alleged “November 13 terrorist” isn’t supposed to meet anyone.
1:01   By the way, on the roof above his cell there is a walking space created just for him.
1:06   This full isolation since his incarceration in Fleury-Mérogis on April 27 begins to weigh on his morale.
1:11   Thierry Solère says he found him tense, tired and nervous.

9 thoughts on “All by Himself in Fleury-Mérogis

  1. Why is all this personalized attention necessary for one individual?

    His crimes were extensive: almost a hundred people killed.

    But, why do they have to monitor what he reads and how he washes his hands?

    I think a bit of it is political: it’s the classical sentry dilemma. This is such a high-profile case that any slip at all is likely to threaten the career of a bureaucrat. So, their solution is to pour massive resources into monitoring every grimace and tic of the prisoner. Of course, the more resources spent on useless monitoring of one notorious prisoner,the fewer are available for monitoring individuals and groups that are actively planning further jihad. But, lost opportunity is much harder to pin blame on than visible slips. And no one has accused bureaucrats of looking for the most effective way of using the resources at their disposal.

    Another reason for the monitoring may be the stringent requirements for any conviction in a high-profile case. Judges who are sufficiently sheltered from any reality may insist on all the technical details being correct on pain of releasing an extremely dangerous prisoner. The idea of loosening technical requirements in favor of community safety is probably not taken into account when dealing with European judges, who begin to approach third-world standards.

    Also, there is the ever-present danger of an adverse ruling by the International Court of Human Justice, whose disconnected judgments have done much to make the countries under their jurisdiction much less safe.

    • It is to make sure he does not commit suicide (or so they said on France 2 news today). There is no way he can be allowed to mix with the other prisoners at FM. He was booed when he arrived because unlike his brother he did not set off his suicide belt but abandoned it in a rubbish bin.

  2. [violence redacted]
    (Some assembly is required.)

    Why? Did you think he has something important to say to us?

  3. Too bad they no longer have capital punishment in France. This kind of solitary confinement must cost the French taxpayer a pretty penny.

    Dear France: I’m old enough to remember every leading innaleckshool in your country competing with every other in paying homage to Mao’s China. Careers were ruined for so much as insinuating that the red, red sun was something of a tyrant (after all, his great, globular noggin so resembled that of M. Pompidou). So, why not give Salah Abdeslam a 9 mm. cerebral hemorrhage, bill his family for the bullet, and harass them with increasing interest for every day they refuse to pay?

  4. Hilarious! he cooks, watches television and works out. Upstairs he has a screened porch! Everything he reads is scrutinized. This suggests he has a selection of materials available. I’m guessing that a masseuse is available should he require it, possibly conjugal visits as well?

    Reopen Devil’s Island.

    • Considering it is France, perhaps they arrange Thursday night “bacha bazi” for this mass murderer. I’m glad he was too much of a coward to use his suicide belt to kill more people, but giving him these perks – which I am sure are not provided to the rest of the prison population – shows what cowards the French government and prison administration have proven to be.

  5. Terrorists when captured have one function – to answer questions . After that , does it matter ? If kept alive they need to be kept securely and as cheaply as possible .

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