An 18-year-old prisoner is facing new charges after allegedly attacking a former Australian soldier in their jail cell and carving the slogan “e4e” into his victim’s head in apparent reference to the Islamic State group.
While “an eye for an eye” appears in the Bible, Australian media pointed out that police believe that the “e4e” in the case of the prisoner — reported to be an Islamic State supporter — was likely referring to the extremist group that last month released a video titled “An Eye for an Eye.”
The newspaper The Australian reported that the teenager used a razor blade to carve into his cellmate’s flesh then executed a waterboarding-like action at the Mid North Coast Correctional Center in Kempsey, Australia.
“It is alleged an argument had begun over religious beliefs between the two, resulting in the 18-year-old carving letters into the front and rear of the 40-year-old male victim’s head, before pouring hot water through a towel placed onto the victim’s face,” police said in a statement.
The suspected assailant was identified by Australian media as Bourhan Hraichie, who was charged by police after last week’s attack.
According to Fairfax Media, the 40-year-old former soldier was moved to a hospital after suffering significant wounds to his neck, head and face as well as a broken sternum.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the general manager of the correctional facility was suspended pending an investigation.
New South Wales Corrections Commissioner Peter Severin said he was “appalled” the two men had been placed in the same cell as Hraichie “clearly identified himself as a radical”
The Australian quoted corrections officials who said a hand-drawn Islamic State flag had once been found in the suspect’s cell.
“If you are radicalized and at risk of engaging in violent extremism, you need to be locked up,” Severin said. “You need to be very highly controlled.”