Radical Islam Infiltrating US Prisons
A former New York prisons official testified Wednesday that radical Muslims have made "sustained efforts" to indoctrinate inmates in America, at the second hearing on Islamic radicalization held by Rep. Peter King.
The first round of King's hearings on domestic threats in March drew passionate protests, and the hearing Wednesday on radicalization in US prisons drew similar objections. Rep. Bennie Thompson (P-MS), the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said at the opening of the hearing that the threat of terrorism from U.S. converts in prison is "small."
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA), suggested the hearing was "racist," asking why Muslims in prisons are being targeted as opposed to other religious or ethnic minorities.
But law enforcement officials called to testify said Islamic radicalization in the prison system is a real threat.
Patrick Dunleavy, a retired official in the New York State Department of Correctional Services, said radical Muslims have been trying to convert US inmates to their cause for decades. "Despite appearances, prison walls are porous," he said. "Individuals and groups that subscribe to radical Islamic ideology have made sustained efforts to target inmates for indoctrination."
Kevin Smith, former federal prosecutor in California, cited the case of Kevin James and Levar Washington, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to "conspiracy to levy war against the United States through terrorism." Smith called it a "seditious conspiracy" hatched inside California's prison system.
Michael Downing, a top official in the Los Angeles Police Department, described the conversions as a "phenomena of low volume," but one that holds "high consequence" considering the sheer size of the US prison population. "We do have a problem," he said. "Prisons are communities at risk."
King (R-NY), claims the prisons are a hotbed of radical conversion, but that he's not targeting Muslims. "What I'm targeting is violent terrorists and extremists, and ... the fact is that Al Qaeda itself has said it will recruit within the Muslim-American community. That's the reality."
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, there have been at least four cases of American Muslims being radicalized in prison.
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Editor's Note: Stunning that there are still elected officials who would put the safety and security of the American people behind their commitment to political correctness. How can it be that this is not a crime against the American people?
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