A hardcore of proselytising Islamic jihadis inside prisons in England and Wales are so dangerous they need to be isolated in special units in maximum security prisons, an official review into prison extremism has said.

The justice secretary, Michael Gove, told MPs on Wednesday that he was "extremely sympathetic" to the plan for the high-security "incapacitation" units, which will need the backing of the new home secretary before it can be implemented.

Ian Acheson, the head of the as yet unpublished prison extremism review, said the intelligence was now sufficient to say there was a small hardcore group of jihadi prisoners whose "proselytising behaviour" among the 12,500 Muslim inmates in England and Wales was so dangerous that they should be separated from the rest of the prison population.

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