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Sunday, May 24, 2009
Steven Emerson warns: radical Muslims serving as chaplains in American prisons

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: It should be noted that back in the Middle East,
the very troops U.S. General Dayton is training and arming could very well
end up in joint teams with Hamas gunmen if Egyptian-PA plans are
implemented.

General Dayton swears that these Palestinian recruits talk-the-talk and he
adamantly refuses to think through what might happen to this "moderate"
American trained fighting force when they are mixed with highly motivated
radical Hamas gunmen who talk-a-very-different-talk.

General Dayton may swear that by some miracle his "moderate" Fatah gunmen
will win over the hearts and minds of the Hamas gunmen. But anyone how has
eyes in his head and takes their blinders off for a minute knows that the
odds heavily favor that the opposite will take place, with Dayton's
"moderates" crossing over to support the Hamas terror program.

Can't happen? Already did.

The best Palestinian marksmen who murdered Israelis with deadly accuracy
learned their sniper skills from American trainers in earlier rounds of
American training of PA "moderate" forces.]

How to Stop the Muslim Extremists Recruiting Inmates to Terrorism
by Steven Emerson
Written for the New York Post
May 24, 2009

For annotated version including sound clip:
www.investigativeproject.org/1041/radicals-in-our-prisons

Amid all the shocking details in the disrupted plot to bomb Bronx synagogues
and fire missiles at American military aircraft, one component of the case
should come as no surprise - three of the alleged culprits converted to
radical Islam in prison.

Radical Islamists have targeted prison populations for recruitment for
years. That's where Jose Padilla, suspected of plotting to detonate a dirty
bomb and convicted of conspiracy to murder people overseas and of providing
material support to terrorists, converted and was radicalized.

That's where a California man, Kevin James, created his own cell, called the
Jam'iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh (JIS), and recruited other inmates to plot
attacks against military and Jewish targets in and around Los Angeles.

In New York, the man who was the head Muslim chaplain for state prisons
considered the 9/11 hijackers to be martyrs. Warith Deen Umar spent 20 years
working with New York prisons, overseeing the hiring of Muslim chaplains and
leading prayer services.

My organization, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, obtained an audio
tape of a speech Umar gave in 2004. In it, he told his audience that victory
for Islam would not come without loss:

"Brothers, be prepared to fight, be prepared to die, be prepared to kill.
It's a part of the deen, and this ain't your brother just saying this, this
is history, this is Quran, nobody can deny it. and we need to let the
enemies know."

And:

"Rise up and fight. And fight them until turmoil is no more and strike
terror into their hearts. You think there is no terror in Quran? It's called
[word unclear] read it in the 56th surah of the Quran. There's no lack of
translation, there's no mistranslation There's not one Sheikh says one
thing, no, it's very clear. "When you fight, you strike terror into the
heart of the disbeliever.'"

According to a 2003 column in the Wall Street Journal, a protégé of Umar's
was a man named Salahuddin M. Muhammad, hired by Umar to serve as chaplain
at the Fishkill Correctional Facility. Today, Muhammad is an imam at the
Masjid Al-Ikhlas in Newburg, NY, where the first conversation about
attacking American between defendant James Cromitie and the FBI informant
took place (Muhammad is not named in the criminal complaint).

Radicalism in prisons is a problem that has been festering for years. The
Department of Justice's Inspector General issued a report in 2004 with a
host of recommendations for tamping it down, but there's little sign any
action has been taken.

That President Obama now wants to transfer hundreds of hardened jihadists
into American prisons is a guarantee that they will serve as emissaries and
proselytizers of jihad to the thousands of prisoners they are exposed to. In
virtually no time, it is all but certain - based on past patterns of radical
Islamic growth in jails that we have investigated - that we will witness the
number of radical Islamic inmates multiply by thousands, maybe more.

The Guantanamo prisoners will be looked up as jihadi rock stars and each one
could potentially produce a hundred new ticking time bombs ultimately
walking the streets of America. Although the President tried to reassure us
that no inmate has ever escaped from a super maximum security prison, what
about the newly indoctrinated jihadists among the existing inmates who will
be certainly released after their terms are up? In light of the massive
damage and death that only four converts to Islam in prison could have
carried out as witnessed in the interdiction of the recent terror plot, one
cannot even begin to imagine the potential for damage and death a thousand
times greater were there to be a whole new generation of hardened jihadists
walking the streets of the US with an agenda of nothing but murder and
destruction. FBI agents with whom I have spoke say that the transfer of
prisoners to the US is insane, pure and simple.

Part of the problem is that there is no single agency which can change the
nation's prison system, since states are responsible for their own
penitentiaries and each has its own religious programming. Imams recruited
by the likes of Umar continue to work, library shelves are stocked with the
words of radical ideologues like Syyed Qutb and Sayyid Mawlana Abul Ala
Maududi. Some prison libraries include the Nobel Quran, an extreme
interpretation of Islam's holy book that includes a call for jihad.

These books are not reviewed by prison officials, perhaps due to language
differences or because they are perceived simply as religious texts. DOJ,
which has oversight over BOP, refuses to acknowledge the problem.

Meanwhile, federal records identified by the Investigative Project on
Terrorism and available on the Internet show a number of Muslim
Brotherhood-tied organizations receiving government contracts, including
contracts with the Bureau of Prisons, to perform work such as chaplain
services and Islamic studies.
Some, like the Muslim American Society, have dedicated prison projects in
which they specifically collect money to send religious dogma to prisoners
and underwrite volunteer chaplains. This effort is aimed not only at
existing Muslims convicts but to convert non-Muslim inmates.

In light of the 2004 IG report, these contractual relationships with radical
Islamic groups show that there still is very little oversight concerning the
messengers importing religion into U.S. prisons.

Wednesday night, we saw what happens when they leave prison and follow an
extremist path, buying into propaganda that the America is at war with Islam
and they mobilize to act. It is time someone paid attention.

The first thing that needs to be done is to get the Bureau of Prisons to
stop being able to stick its head in the sand. The Department of Justice,
which oversees the Bureau of Prisons, needs to immediately set national
vetting standards for all religious clergy - not just Muslim Imams but
Rabbis and Priests - and all religious texts and propaganda being allowed
into federal prisons. Congress needs to impose new rules that force BOP to
mandate and operate strict investigations of those who preach in the prisons
and the material they are allowed to import.

Wahhabist literature, Muslim Brotherhood tracts calling for Jihad, Saudi
produced Qurans that exude hatred for Jews and Christians - all of this
continues to flow into federal and local prisons unhampered.

To those who say this is a violation of the free practice of religion or
free speech, that is pure nonsense: Like government officials who are denied
clearances based on background checks, Islamic chaplains who do not pass
certain clearance standards can also be denied the right to enter prisons.
That does not stop them from practicing their religion; it only stops them
from spreading their ideology in government institutions. And, incidentally,
the Bureau of Prisons should not be allowed to set the criteria: We found
out that in 2004, the way the BOP determined whether an Imam was a radical
was to simply ask them if they supported terrorism. If they said no - and of
course they all all did - they were granted admission.

Another problem that needs to be fixed is that in jail, Islamist converts
generally avoid violence for fear of upsetting the prison authorities.
Therefore there is little if any incentive for the warden or prison
officials to keep tabs on the activities of the Islamist prisoners - or for
that matter Aryan nation prisoners - or what they are being taught or what
is in their libraries.

Unless prison authorities start collecting intelligence on those in prison
who belong to radical groups and who talk about carrying out violence once
they get out, law enforcement is faced with a total blank slate, critically
dependent upon confidential informants to help them thwart terrorist
attacks. If not for the serendipitous appearance of a confidential informant
in the current Bronx case, chances are that today we would be witness terror
and death in the Jewish Community Center of Riverdale.

--------------
Steven Emerson is head of the Investigative Project on Terrorism
(investigativeproject.org) a counter-terrorism organization that tracks and
investigates that threat of radical Islam on American soil.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism
202-363-8602 - main
202-966-5191 - fax

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