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Security officials from several European countries have developed a manual to help prison authorities prevent their jailhouses from becoming incubators for Muslim extremists.

The manual, developed by France, Germany and Austria, includes signs that may indicate that a prisoner was becoming radicalized, including the presence of a growing beard. A prison group feared the manual could stigmatize Muslim inmates.

The document was distributed at a two-day closed-door conference of European security experts that ended Wednesday. It will be given to prison personnel.

Prisons "can be a facilitator and an accelerator" of radicalization and inmates are often "strongly destabilized" and therefore malleable, said Christophe Chaboud, head of France's Anti-Terrorist Coordination Unit.

"It is not a question of religion but of confrontation with the West," Chaboud said in a telephone interview.


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