If there were ever a time for France to seriously tackle Islamic radicalism in its overpopulated, understaffed and underfunded prisons, it would be now.

Radicals in the general prison population can quickly start influencing other inmates and endanger prison staff. The problem that has dogged French authorities for years is set to grow more acute as foreign fighters and whole families return to France amid the collapse of the Islamic State group. More citizens from France have traveled to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq than from any other European country.

Now, the United States is urging allied nations to claim their nationals held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces because facilities there are filling up. But France has closed the gate.

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