Breeding domestic terror
WHILE the media remain fixated on the plight of Muslim prisoners in Iraq, they have largely ignored the danger that radicalized Muslim prisoners pose here at home.
The Justice Department's inspector general this month released a disturbing report that exposed federal prisons as a fertile breeding ground for terrorists. It was a red alert on a bureaucratic failure that jeopardizes not only other inmates and prison employees, but also the country at large. Yet it got next to no notice.
Islamic extremists have infiltrated jails worldwide to lure convicts to their murderous cause. The problem is thought to be much worse in Europe. For example, Richard Reid, the "Shoe Bomber," converted to Islam with the help of an extremist imam in a British prison. In France, thousands of Muslim inmates have been schooled in jihad against "the Western powers and the Jews who manipulate them," as one widely circulated prison pamphlet puts it. Radicalized French detainees have reportedly erected a "terrorist university" behind bars offering anti-Western material and instruction in bomb-making.
But we know it happens in America, too. Jose Padilla, the accused "Dirty Bomber," converted to Islam during a stint at a Broward County, Fla., jail and is alleged to have fallen in with terrorist recruiters after his release.
And Aqil Collins, a self-confessed jihadist turned FBI informant, converted to Islam while doing time in a California juvenile detention center. At a terrorist camp in Afghanistan, he went on to train with one of the men accused of kidnapping and beheading Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.