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George Washington University, Prisoner Radicalization, 2006

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Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI)
and Critical Incident Analysis Group (CIAG)
Prisoner Radicalization Task Force*
CO-CHAIRMEN
Frank Cilluffo
Director, HSPI

Gregory Saathoff
Executive Director, CIAG

TASK FORCE MEMBERS
Abdullah Ansary
Independent Scholar
Scott Atran
Professor of Psychology and Public Policy
University of Michigan
Matthew Bettenhausen
Director of the California Governor’s Office
of Homeland Security
John Cohen
U.S. Government
Richard Ensminger
U.S. Government
Steve Etter
Former Unit Chief
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Josh Filler
President
Filler Security Strategies, Inc.
Steve Herrick
Director of External Relations
American Academy of Religion

Thurgood Marshall, Jr.
Partner
Bingham McCutchen
Andrew McCarthy
Consultant
The Investigative Project
Ed Meese
The Heritage Foundation
Paul Rogers
President
American Correctional Chaplains Association
Suzanne E. Spaulding
Principal
Bingham Consulting Group
John P. Sullivan
Lieutenant
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department
Janet Warren
Associate Director
Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public
Policy at the University of Virginia

* The affiliations of the individual task force members are provided for identification
purposes only and do not represent endorsements by those organizations or agencies.

CO-AUTHORS
Frank Cilluffo
Director, HSPI

Gregory Saathoff
Executive Director, CIAG

Jan Lane
Deputy Director, HSPI

Jeffrey Raynor
Forensic Psychiatric Fellow
Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at
the University of Virginia

Sharon Cardash
Associate Director, HSPI
Josh Magarik
Policy Analyst, HSPI
Andrew Whitehead
Policy Analyst, HSPI

Arnold Bogis
Policy Analyst, HSPI
Gina Lohr
Assistant Director, HSPI

About The Homeland Security Policy Institute

The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) is a unique,
nonpartisan “think and do tank” that builds bridges between theory and practice to advance
homeland security through a multi and interdisciplinary approach. By convening
policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government and the private sector, HSPI
creates innovative strategies and solutions to current and future threats to the nation.
About The Critical Incident Analysis Group

Critical incidents have the potential for creating social trauma and undermining social trust
in government - ultimately impacting community life and even the practice of democracy.
The Critical Incident Analysis Group works to understand the impacts of critical incidents
on government and the societies they serve and to counteract these effects through the study
of past incidents.

For further information, please contact:
Homeland Security Policy Institute
The George Washington University
2300 I Street NW, Suite 721
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-994-2437
hspi@gwu.edu
http://homelandsecurity.gwu.edu

The Critical Incident Analysis Group (CIAG)
University of Virginia School of Medicine
PO Box 800657
Charlottesville, Virginia 22908-0657
(434) 243-9458 or (434) 243-9467
ciag@virginia.edu
http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/ciag

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

i

Executive Summary
The potential for radicalization of prison inmates in the United States poses a threat of
unknown magnitude to the national security of the U.S. Prisons have long been places
where extremist ideology and calls to violence could find a willing ear, and conditions are
often conducive to radicalization. With the world’s largest prison population (over 2 million
– ninety-three percent of whom are in state and local prisons and jails)1 and highest
2
incarceration rate (701 out of every 100,000) , America faces what could be an enormous
challenge – every radicalized prisoner becomes a potential terrorist recruit. Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales recently stated that “[t]he threat of homegrown terrorist cells – radicalized
online, in prisons and in other groups of socially isolated souls – may be as dangerous as
groups like al Qaeda, if not more so. They certainly present new challenges to detection.”3
The London transit bombings of 2005 and the Toronto terrorist plot of 2006, to name just
two incidents, illustrate the threat posed by a state’s own radicalized citizens. By acting upon
international lessons learned, the U.S. may operate from a proactive position.
Under the leadership of The George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy
Institute (HSPI) and The University of Virginia’s Critical Incident Analysis Group (CIAG),
a task force of diverse subject matter experts was convened to analyze what is currently
known about radicalization and recruitment in U.S. prison systems at the federal, state and
local levels. The goal of this diverse, multidisciplinary group was to give unbiased and wellinformed recommendations for further action. The task force performed an extensive
literature review and received briefings from professionals with expertise in this area.
Federal, state and local officials provided background information on radicalization and
ongoing efforts to decrease the threat of terrorist activity in prisons. The task force sought
and received perspectives from religious service providers in prisons and jails, behavioral and
social scientists, and members of the national security and intelligence communities.
Researchers of radicalization in foreign prisons provided first hand accounts of radicalization
4
and terrorist activities overseas. Due to the sensitive nature of many of these briefings and
the desire of some briefers to remain anonymous, this report makes reference to information
for which no source is cited. All information provided, where no source is provided,
originates from task force briefings with subject matter experts and officials with personal
experience in dealing with prisoner radicalization.
This report focuses on the process of radicalization in prison. Radicalization “refers to the
process by which inmates…adopt extreme views, including beliefs that violent measures need
to be taken for political or religious purposes.”5 By “extreme views,” this report includes
beliefs that are anti-social, politically rebellious, and anti-authoritarian. This report focuses,
1

Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison Statistics, 15 August
2006, <http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/correct.htm> (13 September 2006).
2
Roy Walmsley, World Prison Population (5th Ed.) (Home Office, Publication 234, 2003).
3
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, “Stopping Terrorists Before They Strike: The Justice Department’s
Power of Prevention,” Testimony before the World Affair Council of Pittsburgh, delivered on April 16, 2006.
4
See Appendix A.
5
A Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Selection of Muslim Religious Services Providers, Department of
Justice, Office of The Inspector General April 2004, p. 6.

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

ii

in particular, on religious radicalization in conjunction with the practice of Islam. Radical
beliefs have been used to subvert the ideals of every major religion in the world. Just as
young people may become radicalized by “cut-and-paste” versions of the Qur’an via the
6
Internet , new inmates may gain the same distorted understanding of the faith from gang
leaders or other influential inmates. The task force recognizes the potentially positive impact
of religion on inmates, and it should be noted that inmates have a constitutional right to
7
8
practice their religion, a right reinforced by further legislation. Prison facilities bear the
burden of proof if they wish to deny an inmate’s request for any service or activity related to
religion. Plainly, inmate conversion to Islam, or any other religion, is not synonymous with
radicalization.
Prison gangs may adopt a form of Islam, unique to prison, that incorporates values of gang
loyalty and violence. Several Imams interviewed in the course of producing this report
characterized this phenomenon as “Jailhouse Islam” – a significant threat to security in
prisons.
In addition to radical Muslim influence, U.S. prisons have borne the imprint of right-wing
extremist groups and cults known to participate in criminal activity. These groups share
certain characteristics, interests, and goals with each other, and insights about terrorism can
be gained from an examination of operations and recruitment. Some radical right-wing
groups have found common ideological cause with Muslim extremists, exemplified by their
shared hostility towards Israel.
A number of terrorist groups have used narcotics trafficking and other illegal activities to
9
support their operations. On occasion, terrorists and criminal gangs have cooperated to
achieve their own ends, as was the case in 2004 when terrorists, supported by traditional
criminals, attacked the Madrid rail system. Radical Muslim gangs are growing more
sophisticated as they adapt the practices of existing gangs.
There have been a number of publicized connections between former prisoners and
terrorism:
•

6

Jeff Fort, a gang leader in Chicago, Illinois, converted to Islam while incarcerated in
1965. Fort went on to found a group called El Rukn, which made a name for itself
in 1985 when it brokered a deal with the Libyan government to carry out attacks on
U.S. police stations, government facilities, military bases, and passenger airplanes in
exchange for $2.5 million and asylum in Tripoli.10

Zeyno Baran, Director, International Security and Energy Programs. The Nixon Center “Combating alQaeda and the Militant Islamic Threat,” Testimony before the Committee on Armed Services.
7
United States Constitution, First Amendment
8
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000
9
Steven C. McCraw, Assistant Director, Office for Intelligence, Federal Bureau of Investigation, “NarcoTerrorism: International Drug Trafficking and Terrorism – A Dangerous Mix,” Testimony before the
Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, delivered on May 20, 2003.
10
Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism: Terrorism Knowledge Base, Group Profile: El Rukn.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

iii

•

James Ellison, the founder of the extremist Christian group Covenant, Sword and
Arm of the Lord (CSA), met Robert G. Millar while incarcerated.11 Millar, a leader
in the radical “Christian Identity” movement, became Ellison’s spiritual advisor in
prison. After Ellison was released, he recruited for CSA and established a compound
with his followers. When the compound was eventually raided, authorities found
homemade landmines and U.S. Army anti-tank rockets. In addition, they found a
large supply of cyanide that the CSA was apparently planning to use to poison a
city’s water supply.

•

Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the emir of Egypt's Gama'at al Islamia (the Islamic
Group), is the radical cleric who plotted to bomb New York City landmarks in 1993.
Upon being sentenced to a life term, he issued a decree from federal prison,
declaring of Americans that "Muslims everywhere [should] dismember their nation,
tear them apart, ruin their economy, provoke their corporations, destroy their
embassies, attack their interests, sink their ships, . . .shoot down their planes, [and]
kill them on land, at sea, and in the air. Kill them wherever you find them." Osama
bin Laden later claimed that this fatwa provided religious authority for the 9/11
attacks. Abdel Rahman has continued trying to run his organization while
incarcerated - and three defendants were convicted of terrorism charges in 2005 for
helping him do so.

•

Richard Reid is believed to have converted to Islam and been radicalized by an Imam
while incarcerated in Great Britain. He was later apprehended while attempting to
detonate a bomb on a U.S. commercial flight in December 2001.

•

A recently foiled plot to attack numerous government and Jewish targets in
California was devised inside New Folsom State Prison. The perpetrators were
members of an inmate-founded group called Jami'iy yat Ul-Islam Is Saheeh
(Assembly of Authentic Islam). The leader of this group, Kevin Lamar James,
advocated jihad against the U.S. government and supporters of Israel. Two men
implicated in the plot were recruited from a local mosque by a disciple of James who
had been released from the prison.

There exists a number of other examples, but due to the sensitive nature of ongoing
investigations, they cannot be discussed in detail.
Radicalization is occurring in prisons throughout the world. There has been growing
concern about the presence of radical Islam in European prisons. French officials report that
radical Islamic views are being preached in a majority of French prisons.12 The ethnic and
socioeconomic background of the prisoners, as well as the political environment, presents
unique challenges in each country. Despite these differences, much can be learned from
international experiences, especially those of Western Europe, due to Europe’s large Muslim
11

Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism: Terrorism Knowledge Base, Group Profile: Covenant,
Sword and Arm of the Lord (CSA).
12
Pascale Combelles Siegel, “Radical Islam and the French Muslim Prison Population,” Terrorism Monitor,
Volume 4, Issue 15 (July 27, 2006).

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

iv

populations and significant numbers of incarcerated Muslims. While the U.S. must be
concerned about the ability of radicalized inmates released in Europe to enter this country, or
participate in transatlantic terror networks, we must also be vigilant with regard to
radicalization in our own prisons. A greater understanding of the susceptibility of particular
inmates to radicalization and the process by which they become radicalized can act as a force
multiplier for those agencies currently combating terrorism.

Key Findings
•

Radicalization is neither unique to Islam nor a recent phenomenon, and remains the
exception among prisoners rather than the rule. Right-wing extremist groups are also
present in prisons and have an extensive history of terrorist attacks.

•

“Jailhouse Islam”, based upon cut-and-paste versions of the Qur’an, incorporates
violent prison culture into religious practice.

•

The inadequate number of Muslim religious services providers increases the risk of
radicalization. Further, upon release from prison, the inability to track inmates
coupled with lack of social support to reintegrate them into the community gives rise
to a vulnerable moment in which they may be recruited by radical groups, posing as
social support organizations that are more interested in their own extremist agendas
than in the welfare of released prisoners.

•

Information collection and sharing between and among federal, state and local prison
systems is integral to tracking radical behavior of prisoners and religious services
providers. Significant strides have been made at the federal level, but change at the
state and local level, where the overwhelming majority of inmates are incarcerated, is
much more difficult to assess.

•

Resource limitations – both in terms of manpower and financing – hinder efforts to
combat prisoner radicalization. Officials in California report that every investigation
into radical groups in their prisons uncovers new leads, but that they simply do not
have enough investigators to follow every case of radicalization.

•

Radicalization in prisons is a global problem and bears upon the national security of
the U.S. In Europe, Latin America and elsewhere the threat has progressed farther
than it has in the U.S., giving officials the opportunity to learn from foreign prison
radicalization cases so as to confront the problem here in its early stages. Information
sharing between and among the U.S. and other countries is crucial.

•

At present there is insufficient information about prisoner radicalization to qualify
the threat. There is a significant lack of social science research on this issue. No
comprehensive records currently exist, for example, on the religious affiliations of
inmates when they enter prison. This can be improved by policies that promote
good research while continuing to secure the rights of inmates who are involved in
these studies.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

v

•

Prison officials are understandably stretched thin by the need to maintain order in
overcrowded and under-funded facilities. Nevertheless, because information is an
essential precursor to action, investigation of radicalization in prisons must become a
homeland security and counterterrorism priority.

•

Religious radicalization within prisons is a complex problem. No one profession
alone is equipped to analyze and recommend change. A multi-disciplinary approach
that includes perspectives of religion, criminal justice, intelligence, law, and
behavioral sciences is necessary for proactive analysis of the phenomenon.

•

Knowledge must be translated into action. Awareness, education and training
programs must be developed for personnel working in prison, probation and parole
settings.

•

The Intelligence Reform Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 calls for the
establishment of the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) to support our nation's
counter-terrorism efforts. It is critical that information regarding the radicalization
of prisoners in state, local, and federal correctional facilities be included as part of the
body of information shared through the ISE.

Key Recommendation
•

Congress should establish a Commission to investigate this issue in depth. An
objective risk assessment is urgently needed in order to better understand the nature
of the threat, and to formulate and calibrate proactive prevention and response
efforts accordingly. Enhanced information would enable officials to address this
issue now, rather than forcing them to manage a crisis later.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

1

Background Information
Prisons have long been places where extremist ideology and calls to violence could find
willing recruits. Recently, the spiritual philosopher of al Qaeda, Sayyid Qutb, wrote the
radical Islamist manifesto Ma'alim fi al-Tariq (Milestones along the Road) while in an
Egyptian prison. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was an unaccomplished Jordanian revolutionary
until his imprisonment, where he recruited followers and controlled prison life in a manner
similar to that of a powerful gang leader. Speaking of their time together in prison, a
follower of Zarqawi said that “in each prison it was possible for us to have letters sent out
and books brought in…The government imprisons us, and God gives us everything we
13
need…prison makes our fight stronger.”
Since September 11, 2001, several individuals who were radicalized while incarcerated have
been involved in terrorist operations. This has increased awareness and concern about the
spread of radical religious beliefs and their potential impact on terrorist recruiting in the U.S.
prison system. Prior to recent efforts by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the
Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP), the dissemination of religious materials and teachings in
federal prisons was not monitored in a consistent or systematic fashion. The process of
radicalization amongst incarcerated Muslims remains poorly understood and the limited
amount of extant research hinders the development of effective intervention techniques.
Prison provides an ideal environment for radicalization of young men and women. Research
on the characteristics of terrorist recruits abroad has identified youth, unemployment,
alienation, a need for a sense of self-importance and a need to belong to a group as common
factors, all of which are present among U.S. prison populations. 14 Although they may have
had some exposure to mainstream Christianity, many inmates have not had prior experience
with Islam before they are incarcerated. Lacking an understanding of mainstream
interpretations of Islam, these inmates are vulnerable to extremist versions of the religion.
The threat of terrorist recruiting in U.S. prisons was highlighted in October 2003 during a
hearing before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland
15
Security, which identified two major areas of concern in the U.S. federal prison system.
First, a variety of socioeconomic and psychological factors make inmates vulnerable to radical
ideology. Second, groups known to support terrorist causes have distributed radical
literature to the prison population. Although the extent of the problem was not determined,
witnesses stated that serious problems with the screening of religious services providers have
created an opportunity for radicalization.
There have been a number of publicized connections between former prisoners and
terrorism:
13

Jean-Charles Brisard. Zarqawi: The New Face of Al-Qaeda (Other Press, New York: 2005; p. 44).
R.A. Hudson,, “The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes and
Terrorist and Why?,” Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1999, p. 24.
15
John Pistole, Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Terrorist
Recruitment and Infiltration in the United States: Prisons and Military as an Operational Base,” Testimony
before the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, delivered on October 14, 2003.
14

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

2

16

•

Jeff Fort, a gang leader in Chicago, Illinois, converted to Islam while incarcerated in
1965. Fort went on to found a group called El Rukn, which made a name for itself
in 1985 when it brokered a deal with the Libyan government to carry out attacks on
U.S. police stations, government facilities, military bases, and passenger airplanes in
exchange for $2.5 million and asylum in Tripoli.16

•

James Ellison, the founder of the extremist Christian group Covenant, Sword and
Arm of the Lord (CSA), met Robert G. Millar while incarcerated.17 Millar, a leader
in the radical “Christian Identity” movement, became Ellison’s spiritual advisor in
prison. After Ellison was released, he recruited for CSA and established a compound
with his followers. When the compound was eventually raided, authorities found
homemade landmines and U.S. Army anti-tank rockets. In addition, they found a
large supply of cyanide that the CSA was apparently planning to use to poison a
city’s water supply.

•

Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the emir of Egypt's Gama'at al Islamia (the Islamic
Group), is the radical cleric who plotted to bomb New York City landmarks in 1993.
Upon being sentenced to a life term, he issued a decree from federal prison,
declaring of Americans that "Muslims everywhere [should] dismember their
nation, tear them apart, ruin their economy, provoke their corporations,
destroy their embassies, attack their interests, sink their ships, . . .
shoot down their planes, [and] kill them on land, at sea, and in the air.
Kill them wherever you find them." Osama bin Laden later claimed that this
fatwa provided religious authority for the 9/11 attacks. Abdel Rahman has
continued trying to run his organization while incarcerated - and three
defendants were convicted of terrorism charges in 2005 for helping him do
so.

•

Richard Reid is believed to have converted to Islam and been radicalized by an imam
18
while incarcerated in Great Britain. He was later apprehended while attempting to
detonate a bomb on a U.S. commercial flight in December of 2001.

•

A recently foiled plot to attack numerous government and Jewish targets in
California was devised inside New Folsom State Prison. The perpetrators were
members of an inmate-founded group called Jami'iy yat Ul-Islam Is Saheeh
19
(Assembly of Authentic Islam). The leader of this group, Kevin Lamar James,
advocated jihad against the U.S. government and supporters of Israel. Two men
implicated in the plot were recruited from a local mosque by a disciple of James who
had been released from the prison.

Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism: Terrorism Knowledge Base, Group Profile: El Rukn.
Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism: Terrorism Knowledge Base, Group Profile: Covenant,
Sword and Army of the Lord (CSA).
18
A Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Selection of Muslim Religious Services Providers, Department of
Justice, Office of The Inspector General April 2004, p. 6.
19
See Appendix A.
17

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

3

For this reason, prisoner radicalization and its implications warrant study. While some
literature on the characteristics of terrorist recruits exists, there is little thorough work in the
U.S. context. Individual or environmental factors involved in the distinct processes from
religious conversion to radicalization to recruitment by a terrorist organization are,
20
ultimately, not completely understood.

Defining Terms21
For consistency, the task force adopted the following definitions of radicalization and
recruitment. The first two are adapted from a report by the Department of Justice’s Office
of the Inspector General (OIG), released in April 2004 following Senate hearings on the
confluence between terrorism and crime.22 Other definitions are terms used by FBI
personnel or were developed by the members of the task force, deriving from their collective
and diverse subject matter expertise. 23
Radicalization - “refers to the process by which inmates…adopt extreme views, including
beliefs that violent measures need to be taken for political or religious purposes.” By
“extreme views,” this report specifies beliefs that are anti-social, politically rebellious and
anti-authoritarian.
Recruitment - “is used to mean the solicitation of individuals to commit terrorist acts or
engage in behavior for a terrorism purpose.” 24 Non-radicalized inmates may be persuaded to
participate in actions that directly benefit the terrorist network. Therefore, a recruited
individual would include anyone in the prison environment who provides support to
terrorists. Many members of a terrorist network may not be fully aware of the value that
their actions bring to the network, as in the case of a prisoner who is coerced through
blackmail to smuggle cell phone parts into a prison. 25
Individual radicalization - results from exposure to a radical religious services provider or
charismatic inmate espousing radical ideas. This type of individual may decide to pursue
violence on his own, becoming a “lone-wolf” terrorist. He would not necessarily have the
support of a network, but may seek out a network in the future, and may be at risk for
recruitment at some later date.
Organized radicalization - a process supported by external groups who seek to influence
vulnerable inmates. These groups coordinate the entry of radical religious services providers
into prisons and jails. They provide inmates with reading materials that include non20

S. Gerwehr and S. Daly, Al-Qaida: Terrorist Selection and Recruitment, (McGraw-Hill Homeland Security
Handbook, 2006), Chapter 5, p. 73-89.
21
Definitions of radicalization, particularly as applied to prison settings, inevitably raise questions regarding
what constitutes extreme and what is constitutionally permissible for government to limit. The task force
encourages further review and possible revision of this definition by the commission that the task force is
recommending be established (see the Findings and Recommendations sections of this report).
22
Department of Justice, OIG Review, 2004.
23
See Appendix A.
24
Ibid., p.6.
25
Ibid., p.6..

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

4

traditional or extremist interpretations of the Qur’an. Once released, inmates are also
directed to supportive groups that espouse violence, such as radical mosques. The social
services offered by radical groups act as a vehicle for “top-down recruiting,” also known as
“scouting”. This involves radical groups identifying released inmates with valuable skills who
can be recruited to carry out specific actions in support of the group’s agenda. This process
occurs over the long term and direct recruiting may result long after the inmate has become
radicalized.
Gang radicalization - makes use of pre-existing prison gangs or networks to attract inmates.
A principal reason for joining an existing gang is the belief that membership in such a group
confers physical protection and psychological support. Gangs also provide a sense of
belonging to disillusioned youths. Once these groups become radicalized, their money,
communications networks and intimidation factor can be used to recruit others and support
terrorist networks.
Most prisoners who join Islamic gangs for protection adopt Islam temporarily out of
26
necessity, a phenomenon called “Prislam” by officials of the New York Police Department.
In contrast, a small proportion of converted prisoners later become engaged in terrorist
activity.
Para-radicalization - takes place when non-radicalized individuals, including inmates,
correctional officers or other prison staff aid or abet radicalized networks. Wittingly or not,
they are an important part of terrorist network operations in the prison setting. Using
bribery and intimidation, radical inmates can obtain, for example, smuggled
communications devices, pass messages and cause the strategic transfer of particular inmates.

The Problem
OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS OF RADICALIZATION
Inmates in general are particularly vulnerable to radical religious ideology due to their antisocial attitudes and the need to identify with other inmates sharing the same background,
beliefs or ethnicity. When there has been little exposure to organized religion in the
community, the inmate’s understanding of the religion is dependent upon the religious
leadership and materials at their facilities. It is during this period that radical rhetoric may
exploit the inmate’s vulnerabilities and lack of grounded religious knowledge by providing
validation to the inmate’s disillusionment with society and creating an outlet for their violent
impulses. Possible psychological factors increasing vulnerability include a high level of
distress, cultural disillusionment, lack of intrinsic religious beliefs or values, dysfunctional
family system or dependent personality tendencies.27 These factors are prevalent among
prison populations. From an ideological standpoint, radical religious groups allow the
inmates to demonize their perceived enemies and view themselves as righteous. Prisons are
inherently violent environments and therefore fertile ground for radicalization. Inmates are
26
27

See Appendix A.
S. Gerwehr and S. Daly, Al-Qaida: Terrorist Selection and Recruitment, p. 84.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

5

drawn to radical groups out of the need for protection or to gain status amongst other
prisoners.
Studies have suggested that terrorist recruitment methods are not always expected to yield a
28
high number of recruits. Radical messages may be delivered to many prisoners with the
understanding that most will resist radicalization. As demonstrated in the New Folsom plot,
a single radicalized inmate can be a significant threat. Even if the radical message resonates
with only a few inmates, they could then be targeted for more intense one-on-one
instruction.
It should be noted that there is a difference between a radicalized prisoner, who holds radical
religious or political beliefs, and a prisoner who has been recruited by a terrorist group and
who has chosen to commit violence. A cycle or sequence from radicalization to violence
exists, beginning with the conditions of the prison setting and first exposure to radical ideas,
and ending with the decision to become a terrorist. Only a few who become radicalized go
on to actively pursue terrorism. An important resource for combating terrorism would be to
determine which factor or factors existing in prison influence some radicalized prisoners to
make the specific leap from radical beliefs to violence in the name of those beliefs.

RADICALIZATION IN U.S. PRISONS
I. Religious Services
The recruitment of Muslim chaplains has been limited by the lack of recognized national
religious organizations to administer the vetting process. Compounding the problem, has
been the controversy over imams espousing violent views, as has been seen in several New
York cases. The lack of well-trained Muslim chaplains has led to a reliance on religious
contractors and volunteers, especially in state and local facilities. A 2004 survey of 193
wardens of state correctional facilities showed that only half of religious services were
physically supervised and just over half used any sort of audio or video monitoring
29
capabilities. Half the institutions allowed inmates themselves to act as spiritual leaders.
Prison facilities bear the burden of proof if they wish to deny an inmate’s request for any
service or activity related to religion.
Currently, chaplains “must have a Master of Divinity degree from an accredited residential
seminary or theology school.”30 However, that alone does not confirm that they have
sufficient religious education to qualify them to fulfill Muslim religious needs. The same
point applies to a contracted Muslim religious services provider or volunteer. Given the
relatively small number of chaplains, contracted Muslim religious service providers cannot be
routinely supervised by chaplains. Lack of education is a significant problem; contracted
religious services providers and volunteers are not required to have formal religious
education. Prisoners may find it difficult to fulfill their basic religious obligations because of
28

Ibid.
George W. Knox, “The Problem of Gangs and Security Threat Groups in American Prisons Today: Recent
Research, Findings From the 2004 Prison Gang Survey,” (National Gang Crime Research Center, 2005)
30
A Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Selection of Muslim Religious Services Providers, Department of
Justice, Office of The Inspector General April 2004, p. 17.
29

6

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

the limitations of the services offered. Even when they are available, some qualified Muslim
religious leaders have been intimidated by radical inmates who consequently assume the role
of religious services provider for themselves. In the absence of qualified Muslim religious
services providers, inmates can become attracted to radical views and the politico-religious
messages coming from other inmates who assume informal positions of religious leadership.
Due to the lack of proper religious authorities and academically credentialed experts available
to review all materials entering the prison system, no consistently applied standard or
procedure exists to determine what reading material is appropriate. In the absence of
monitoring by authoritative Islamic chaplains, materials that advocate violence have
infiltrated the prison system undetected. The lack of individuals with a thorough knowledge
of Islam, the Qur’an and other religious materials entering prisons offers an opportunity for
recruiters outside of prisons to paint a violent picture of Islam. Radical literature and
extremist translations and interpretations of the Qur’an have been distributed to prisoners by
31
groups suspected or known to support terrorism. The Noble Qur’an, a Wahabbi/Salafist
version written in English, is widely available in prisons. A recent review in the Middle East
Quarterly characterized this version as reading “…like a supremacist Muslim, anti-Semite,
anti-Christian polemic than a rendition of the Islamic scripture.”32 Of particular concern is
its appendix, entitled “The Call to Jihad (Holy Fighting in Allah’s Cause).” Saeed Ismaeel’s
The Differences Between the Shee’ah and Muslims Who Follow the Sunnah, written in plain
English, is another such example of radical material.
Radical Muslim prison groups use Arabic language and script as codes – a practice adopted
from existing prison gangs and the use of ancient scripts as code by right-wing extremist
groups – to communicate secretly and to smuggle radical materials undetected.33 Some
prisoners have indirect access to the Internet, which opens up another avenue for prisoners to
access radical materials. These materials end up in the hands of inmates acting as prayer
service leaders, who then use the materials to recruit inmates to follow the radical views
expressed.
Extremist interpretations of the Qur’an use footnotes and supplements to lead the reader to a
radical interpretation of the scripture. For example, in April 1993 a riot, involving
approximately 450 prisoners took place in a maximum security facility in Lucasville, Ohio.
Many prisoners feared that correction officials would force them to have tuberculosis
vaccinations, which Muslim inmates perceived would violate their faith; some inmates also
desired to settle old disputes with other prisoners. Following the riot, in which ten died and
more than forty million dollars worth of damage was caused, the investigating authority
found radical materials (books and unauthorized audio materials) in Muslim inmates’ cells.
Prison authorities later banned all of these materials. 34

31

See Appendix A.
Khaleel Mohammed, “Assesing English Translations of the Qur’an”, Middle East Quarterly, Volume 12,
Number 2 (Spring 2005).
33
Criminal Investigative Division, “Gangs Use Ciphers and Secret Codes to Communicate,” Federal Bureau of
Investigation Intelligence Bulletin (Unclassified), 20 July 2006.
34
See Lucasville Prison Riot, Ohio Historical Society, 2005, See also, “End to Prison Riot Possible, Officials
Say,” Tulsa World, April 18, 1993, Page A8; See also, “Inmates End Standoff: 5 Guards Freed,” Tulsa World,
April 22, 1993, Page A1.
32

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7

II. Support after Release
Although just over two million inmates are incarcerated in U.S. jails and prisons, a
substantially greater number have served time and have returned to society. According to a
recent report released by the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, “13.5
million people spend time in jail or prison, and 95 percent of them eventually return to our
35
communities.” Both incarcerated and released individuals are vulnerable to radicalization
and recruitment, the latter because many inmates leave prison with very little financial,
emotional, or family support. To the extent that radical groups may draw upon funding
from well-financed extremist backers, they can offer significantly more social and financial
support to released prisoners than other legitimate community support programs. Much
community support is faith-based, and in many cases can assist in successful reintegration
with society. However, when inadequate formal support is provided for inmate transition,
radical religious groups may fill the void by offering both financial and emotional support.
By providing for prisoners in their time of greatest need, these organizations can build upon
the loyalty developed during the individual’s time in prison. If connections are made with a
radicalized community group, the recently released inmate may remain at risk for
recruitment or continued involvement in terrorist networks. Released inmates have
significant potential value for terrorist networks that have recruited them.
We currently lack the necessary data to determine both the extent and patterns of radical
religious recruitment for incarcerated prisoners and released inmates. Even if a religious
provider is removed from one facility, that provider can simply apply to enter a prison in
another state. No comprehensive database exists to track religious services providers who are
known to expose inmates to radical religious rhetoric.
III. Other Radical Religious Groups Relevant to U.S. Prisons
The growth of Islam in prisons, the relative deficit of vetted religious services providers, and
world events have all focused attention on radical Islam. However, it is worth noting that
right-wing Christian extremist groups not only have a history of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil,
but a longstanding relationship with prisoners. There are many groups aligning themselves
with “Christian Identity” ideology. These groups include Posse Comitatus, The Order,
Aryan Nations, and many of the militia movements across the country. Aryan Nations has
maintained an outreach program with inmates since the 1970’s. The racial beliefs of these
groups make them appealing to white inmates who feel they must associate with inmates of
the same race. As with Islamic groups, this may be related to the need for protection. Some
of these groups have found common cause with extremist Muslim groups, who share their
hostility towards the U.S. government and Israel. Most recently, a number of white
36
supremacist groups vocalized their support for Hezbollah in its conflict with Israel.
The Phineas Priesthood, a terrorist organization adhering to “Christian Identity” ideology, is
significant in that it espouses the concept of a “leaderless resistance.” By requiring that its

35

The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, “Confronting Confinement,” June 2006, p.1.
Counterterrorism Division, “White Supremacist Response to the Conflict in Lebanon,” Federal Bureau of
Investigation Intelligence Bulletin (Unclassified), 7 August 2006.
36

8

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

members act independently and in extreme secrecy, its activities are very difficult to detect. 37
Other types of terrorist groups may adopt this strategy as their networks become less
centralized.
IV. Organized Prison Gangs
International terrorist organizations share a funding source with gangs based in U.S. prisons
– criminal enterprise. During testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2003,
Steven C. McCraw, Assistant Director of the FBI, stated, “Terrorism and crime are
inextricably linked. International and Domestic Terrorism Organizations and their
supporters engage in a myriad of crime to fund and facilitate terrorist activities.” These
criminal enterprises, he reported, “include extortion, kidnapping, robbery, corruption, alien
smuggling, document fraud, arms trafficking, cyber crime, white collar crime, smuggling of
contraband, money laundering and certainly drug trafficking.” 38 The National Drug Threat
Assessment in 2006 stated that “it is possible that some gangs may associate with foreign
terrorists for the purpose of conducting drug trafficking and various criminal activities.
Moreover, the potential for such relationships exists primarily among U.S. prison gangs,
whose members seem to be particularly susceptible to terrorist and other extremist
39
recruitment.”
V. Challenges at the State and Local Levels
The U.S. corrections system consists of a complex network of prisons and jails at the federal,
state and local levels. Out of the over two million inmates in the U.S. prison system, ninetythree percent are in state and local prisons and jails.40 The threat of prisoner radicalization is
therefore even more paramount for state and local officials.
In California state prisons, for example, there exists no standard policy for vetting Muslim
religious services providers. Instead, policy is set by the warden of each prison – leading to
thirty-three different policies for each of California’s thirty-three adult facilities. A lack of a
single state-wide policy hinders attempts at identifying and monitoring radical religious
services providers. Most providers are endorsed by local organizations which have different
requirements for religious education and provide different levels of scrutiny to weed out
potential radicals.
California employs twenty Muslim chaplains for a population of over 300,000 prisoners and
parolees, limiting their ability to oversee religious services. Prisoners must often rely on
fellow inmates or volunteers to meet their religious needs. One California state prison alone
hosts 3,000 volunteers each month, an impossible number for short-staffed prison officials to
37

Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, Terrorism Knowledge Database, accessed July 13, 2006,
http://www.tkb.org/Home.jsp.
38
Steven C. McCraw, Assistant Director, Office for Intelligence, Federal Bureau of Investigation, “NarcoTerrorism: International Drug Trafficking and Terrorism – A Dangerous Mix,” Testimony before the
Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, delivered on May 20, 2003.
39
“National Drug Threat Assessment 2006,” National Drug Intelligence Center, U.S. Department of Justice,
Product No. 2006-Q0317-001, p. 35.
40
Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison Statistics, 15 August
2006, <http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/correct.htm> (13September 2006).

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

9

monitor effectively.
State prison officials lack the manpower and financial resources to thoroughly investigate
radicalization occurring within their facilities. Successful disruption of radicalization is
currently more a matter of luck than of ability or intent. The terrorist plot formulated at
New Folsom State Prison is one such example. The responsible group, Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam Is
Saheeh (Assembly of Authentic Islam or JIS), was founded by Kevin Lamar James while he
was imprisoned. James recruited his fellow inmates to JIS, while other members recruited
outside the prison after having been paroled. The group planned a number of attacks on
targets in the Los Angeles area, including U.S. military facilities, synagogues and the Israeli
41
consulate. The plot was discovered because a member of the group dropped a cell phone
during a robbery, fortuitously alerting authorities to the group and the plot. A lack of
resources, mainly personnel shortages, prevents law enforcement officials from operating
more proactively.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has indicated that radicalization is a growing
problem within their jurisdiction, with a number of potential leads to be followed.
However, a lack of trained experts and analysts prevents the LASD from investigating many
potential groups and plots, and hinders them from sharing intelligence with other
departments and agencies. With dozens of overcrowded prisons (some are at 200 percent
capacity and growing) and hundreds of thousands of prisoners and parolees to oversee,
prison officials must devote most of their resources to maintaining basic order and security,
with little left over for investigating radicalization. This is compounded by the fact that
radical inmates, wishing to avoid attention, act as model prisoners, leading prison officials to
focus on violent prisoners while overlooking radicalization. The LASD – one of the largest
Sheriff’s departments in the country – reports that its manpower shortage is of the
42
magnitude of a thousand personnel.

EUROPEAN PRISONS
In the U.S., Muslims make up a relatively small percentage of the prison population.
According to the Chief of the FBOP’s Chaplaincy Services Branch, “approximately 9,000
inmates, or about 6 percent of the inmate population, seek Islamic religious services.”43 In
contrast, Muslims are significantly overrepresented in European prisons.44 For example,
Muslims make up about 8 percent of the general populations of France, but there are
approximately ten times as many Muslims in French prisons as there are in the general
45
population. Though Islam is the most prevalent religion in French prisons, there are some
600 Catholic priests attending Christian inmates compared to 95 imams attending Muslim
41

United States District Court for the Central District of California, October 2004 Grand Jury, Indictment
against Kevin James.
42
See Appendix A.
43
Department of Justice, OIG Review, 2004, p. 5.
44
N.H.Ammar, et al. ”Muslims in Prison: A Case Study from Ohio State Prisons,” International Journal of
Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Vol. 48, No. 4, (2004), pp. 416-417.
45
Fahrad Khosrokhavar and Danielle Joly. Muslims in Prison: Challenge and Change in Britain and France.
Palgrave, Oct 2005.

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GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

prisoners. This shortage provides ample opportunities for radical Islamist preachers and
organizers to spread their message among prisoners.
The number of Muslim inmates in Europe since the 1970s has been growing. France and
Britain have the largest and longest established populations of Muslims in Western Europe.
Muslim prisoners serving prison sentences in England and Wales have increased as a
proportion of the prison population from 4.49 percent in 1991 to approximately 8.05
percent today. In France, the proportion of Muslims in prisons is probably higher than in
the prisons of England and Wales. Estimates of their presence in sections of urban prisons in
46
France go as high as 80 per cent. Whereas the 6 million Muslims in the U.S. are mostly
middle class, most of Western Europe’s 12-15 million Muslims occupy a lower
socioeconomic status. European policies on assimilation, in contrast to U.S. policies, have
resulted in a division between Europe’s Muslim population and the rest of society. This
socioeconomic marginalization of Europe’s Muslims makes them more vulnerable to radical
political and religious messages.
Although immigrant communities and their levels of integration vary across nations, the
experience of other countries is relevant for the U.S. For example, when radicalized inmates
are released in Europe, they may travel to the U.S. or participate in networks with
individuals inside the U.S. Both Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid entered the country
using passports issued by countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. Moreover,
because of the increasing amount of knowledge that can be shared globally through the
Internet, successful radicalization and recruitment techniques can be adapted to the U.S.
prison system with relative ease. Indirect access to the Internet allows prisoners in the U.S.
to communicate with extremist and terrorist groups outside prison walls, making it easier for
terrorist networks to work across borders.
Radicalization in Europe is not limited to recent immigrants from traditionally Islamic
countries. Researchers in the Netherlands have found that radicalization occurs among
many second and third generation immigrants, as well as a small number of converts of
Dutch descent. These individuals tend to participate in local networks, but these local
groups may periodically coordinate with one another or make connections with transnational
47
networks.
Prison officials have struggled to control radicalization. However, in the interest of
maintaining order, prison administrations often facilitate radical groups. Moreover, the
blackmailing of prison staff and even non-Muslim religious personnel has resulted in radical
inmate groups gaining access to cellular phones and even the Internet. Attorneys provided
by foreign terrorist organizations have also arranged for inmates to be moved in and out of
particular prisons. Attorneys have also been used to pass information between radical inmate
leaders and to coordinate with outside networks. As in the U.S., radical religious groups
have adopted the techniques of violent prison gangs to intimidate others and gain control
48
over the facilities in which they are incarcerated.
46

James A. Beckford, et al., Muslims in Prison Challenge and Change in Britain and France, New York: Palgrave
Macmillan, Mar. 2, 2006, pp. 72 and 276.
47
Violent Jihad in the Netherlands: Current trends in the Islamist terrorist threat, General Intelligence and
Security Service Communications Department, March 2006, pp. 23-24.
48
See Appendix A.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

11

Current Response Efforts
Awareness and containment of the European problem is only part of the needed response.
Because successful networks adopt and adapt effective strategies learned elsewhere, the
European experience must be used as an opportunity to learn about prison radicalization so
that it can be disrupted in the U.S. at a much earlier stage.

FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL RESPONSES
Officials at the state level have taken a number of steps to combat prisoner radicalization.
Arizona, California and New York have started actively addressing this challenge. California
in particular has been exemplary in this regard, having identified prisoner radicalization as a
high priority threat and devoted resources to combating it. Despite severe manpower
shortages, officials are making a concerted effort to investigate radical networks within their
prisons. All California state prisons, for example, have an investigative unit dedicated to this
task.
California officials are making a deliberate effort to identify key gaps in responses and fill
them. Model terrorism and training awareness courses are being developed for correctional
officers, and pilot programs have been introduced to draw on the expertise developed over
time by institutional gang investigators. Prison officials have been working to counter gang
organization and recruitment among inmates with success. Due to the similarities between
gang recruitment and recruitment by radical groups within prisons, there are lessons that can
and should be drawn from anti-gang efforts to thwart radicalization and potential terrorist
recruiting. Important differences exist between gangs and radical groups, however, so these
lessons should not be applied wholesale. Rather, anti-gang efforts should be studied to
determine what among them can be usefully applied to combating radical groups in prisons.
The California state government has taken steps to coordinate efforts between its own prison
facilities and between other agencies working on this problem. Presently, the California
Department of Corrections has liaison officers posted at each prison who meet monthly to
share information across facilities. Beyond the prison-to-prison network at the local level,
the long term and crucial process of building relationships and trust between and among
officials at different levels of government has been furthered by the establishment of a
number of “fusion centers” to bring together federal, state and local officials to share
intelligence and plan responses. The California state government has created several Joint
Regional Intelligence Centers (JRICs) and Regional Threat Assessment Centers (RTACs),
which are composed of representatives from prison staffs, the LASD, the Los Angeles Police
Department, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the
area. Unfortunately, efforts are often stymied by the nature of bureaucracy. The FBI
established four Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) in California to bring together federal,
state, and local officials, but the JTTFs meet infrequently. Likewise, the JRICs and RTACs
are designed to study the problem strategically, not to support operations against radical
groups, leading some member agencies to disregard the groups thus sinking an opportunity
for intelligence sharing.

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GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

Even though state and county officials have been forward leaning in their efforts to work
together, significant cultural, policy and resource impediments continue to hamstring their
efforts. Crucially, local information must fully find its way into regional and national
intelligence processes and networks, and strategic analysis must be fused with investigatory
efforts for synergies to emerge. California provides an excellent case study of the
complexities of working across jurisdictions, and among a number of agencies to get an
accurate gauge of the extent of radicalization, but even the most effective example still suffers
from numerous impediments to success.
In New York State, in late 2004 and early 2005, the New York State Office of Homeland
Security, State Department of Corrections, New York City Department of Corrections,
NYPD and the FBI began the process of establishing a joint prison monitoring system to
monitor and track prison radicalization within State prisons and Riker’s Island Jail. All of
the agencies had been working on their own prison monitoring programs before that time,
but each independent of the other. The system is built off of already well established gang
intelligence units at both the State and city level and uses the Upstate New York Regional
Intelligence Center (UNYRIC) and the NYPD intelligence center at the High Intensity
Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) to fuse intelligence collected within the prisons and jails.
More recently, the State of New York has begun the process of integrating county jails, most
of which are run by local sheriffs, into the system. However, at this time, the majority of
49
county jails are still not part of the prison monitoring system.

EXCLUDING RADICALS AND EXTREMIST MATERIALS FROM PRISONS
Since 2002, the FBI and FBOP have enhanced collaborative efforts to detect and respond to
any threats to national security originating from prisons. Their experience indicates that
U.S. prisons have been targeted for radicalization and recruitment. 50 However, because the
vast majority of inmates are incarcerated in state prison systems, individual and organized
radicalization and recruitment at the state level represents the majority of the current radical
activity.
In response to the OIG report on the paucity of Muslim religious services providers, the
51
FBOP has made changes to many of its policies. Religious services providers are now
questioned about their beliefs regarding violence and other concepts related to radicalization.
They are also subjected to more rigorous background checks. Muslim chaplains are involved
in the screening process as subject matter experts.
The OIG report detailed issues related to the selection of chaplains and other religious
services providers, such as the inadequate examination of doctrinal beliefs.52 Volunteers and
49

See Appendix A.
See Appendix A.
51
Analysis of the Response by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to Recommendations in the OIG’s April 2004
Report on the Selection of Muslim Religious Service Providers, U.S. Department of Justice Office of the
Inspector General, July 2004.
52
Department of Justice, OIG Review, April 2004.
50

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13

religious contractors were required to receive endorsements only from local organizations.
Since 1995, chaplains had been required to obtain endorsement from a national
organization. The FBOP made the change in order to increase accountability and allow the
chaplains to maintain contact with the endorsing agency when they were moved to other
states. To further accountability, the FBOP could maintain more consistent relationships
with a national agency, and more easily detect any deviation from mainstream religious
practices. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) was the only provider of
endorsements of Muslim chaplains until 2003. In response to allegations about ISNA
connections to terrorist groups, the FBOP stopped accepting endorsements for Muslim
53
chaplains. As a result, no new Islamic chaplains could be hired until the FBI cleared the
ISNA of any association with terrorist groups. The FBOP has maintained ongoing
communication with Muslim groups, including the ISNA.
There is strengthened communication between the FBI and FBOP regarding the vetting
process of religious services providers. They are questioned and investigated regarding any
connection to or funding from foreign governments. The FBOP has begun accepting
endorsements of chaplain candidates from local organizations in lieu of national
endorsements. FBOP chaplains must now meet new requirements for academic training,
and experience, and pass thorough background checks. Chaplains must also demonstrate a
willingness and ability to provide and coordinate religious programs for inmates of all
54
faiths. FBOP staff members have received training on Islamic beliefs and FBI field offices
are required to provide training to local and state prisons.
The FBOP’s mission is to identify organizations and individuals attempting to radicalize
inmates and prevent their entry into prisons. Although the need for positive influences on
inmates, including non-radical religious services is recognized, it is difficult to maintain the
balance between the need to provide religious services and the need to prevent entry of
radical religious services providers. While the OIG found that the FBOP was effectively
employing ten current Muslim chaplains to screen new contractors, this was not felt to be
adequate for supervision of existing inmate and non-inmate providers, because “ample
opportunity exists…to deliver inappropriate and extremist messages.” The ten FBOP
Muslim chaplains cannot interview the many thousands of religious contractors who have
exposure to inmates.
The FBOP maintains a database of inmates which is available to, but not widely used by,
local and state systems. State and local databases of information on prisoners that do exist
are not universally compatible with the federal system or with other states. Despite use of
available databases and improvements in information sharing, intelligence gaps remain.
Information about who is directing and funding radicalization and recruitment efforts is
incomplete. The decentralized and fluctuating leadership of radical groups contributes to
55
this deficit.
53

The investigation of the ISNA is beyond the scope of the task force and the statements made in this report are
not meant to confirm or deny the allegations mentioned above. The ISNA is mentioned specifically because it
is the only national Islamic organizations that has been used to endorse FBOP chaplains.
54
Department of Justice Fact Sheet, Department of Justice Anti-Terrorism Efforts Since Sept. 11, 2001, 5
September 2006 <http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2006/September/06_opa_590.html>.
55
See Appendix A.

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

14

The FBOP has developed a more complete system of monitoring the inventory of religious
reading material and other forms of media available to Federal prisons. This allows for more
consistent review by experienced chaplains. A set of best practice guidelines has been
implemented throughout the FBOP regarding appropriate reading materials. These
guidelines are incorporated into the training available to local and state facilities, though
there has been no authoritative measure of the degree to which these practices are being
implemented. The FBOP has mandated the constant supervision of inmate-led groups, and
is requiring that the provision of Islamic teachings and study-guides must be prepared by
Islamic chaplains who are full-time FBOP staff.56

Findings

56

•

Prison gangs and terrorist organizations share a common interest in criminal
enterprises. The potential therefore exists for a nexus between the two. The limited
numbers of individuals required by successful terrorist recruiting methods increases
the possibility of cross fertilization. Research on foreign terrorists describes isolated
and alienated young people lacking a sense of self importance that feeds a need to
belong to a group—a set of conditions found in recruits of U.S.-based prison gangs.
Radicalized prisoners form a pool of potential recruits for terrorist groups.

•

Radicalization is neither unique to Islam nor a recent phenomenon, and remains the
exception among prisoners rather than the rule. Right-wing extremist groups are
present in prisons and have an extensive history of terrorist attacks.

•

The inadequate number of Muslim religious services providers increases the risk of
radicalization. At the same time, not all contracted religious leaders have the
appropriate experience, education or background to lead fellow Muslims. Prisoners
with little training in Islam have been able to assert themselves as leaders among the
prison population, at times misrepresenting the faith. “Jailhouse Islam”, based upon
cut-and-paste versions of the Qur’an, incorporates violent prison culture into
religious practice. Radical religious service providers in prisons are able to move from
prison to prison while remaining under the radar of prison officials. Currently there
are no national organizations authorized by the FBOP to endorse Muslim chaplain
candidates. By relying on local endorsing organizations, it is inherently more
difficult to ensure that religious leaders providing services within prison systems are
adequately trained and to deny radical ideologues access to prisoners. In the absence
of a sound process to vet materials entering into prisons, the system remains
vulnerable.

•

The inability to track inmates upon release from prison, coupled with limited social
support, gives rise to a vulnerable moment in which former inmates may act upon
radical tendencies. The lack of support groups to help reintegrate released prisoners
into society allows for individuals to carry into the larger community the radical

Department of Justice Anti-Terrorism Efforts Since Sept. 11, 2001. Department of Justice Fact Sheet, 5
September 2006 <http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2006/September/06_opa_590.html>.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

15

messages learned while confined and increases the likelihood of repeat offenses.
There do exist local charities that may accept recently released prisoners of Muslim
faith to help these individuals to become productive members of society by providing
immediate assistance with housing and career counseling. However, these groups
generally rely on private donations, and with their decentralized leadership may be
vulnerable to the influences of radical groups more interested in finding recruits than
in providing social services or in the welfare of prisoners.
•

Resource limitations – both in terms of manpower and financing – hinder efforts to
combat prisoner radicalization. Officials in California report that every investigation
into radical groups in their prisons uncovers new leads, but that they simply do not
have enough investigators to follow every case of radicalization and information goes
unshared with officials at other prisons or agencies.

•

Lack of systematic intelligence and information sharing among federal, state and
local prisons on inmates who express violent, religion-based behaviors allows for such
prisoners to carry out a message of extremism undetected. Information collection
and sharing among federal, state and local prison systems is integral to tracking
radical behavior of prisoners and religious services providers, and to preventing
recruiters from moving freely between prisons. Significant strides have been made at
the federal level, but change at the state and local level is difficult to assess. Further,
intelligence regarding radicalization activities at the federal, state and local levels must
be integrated into the body of information shared through the ISE.

•

Radicalization in prisons is a global problem and bears upon the national security of
the U.S. Information sharing between and among the U.S. and other countries is
crucial. Lessons learned abroad afford the U.S. the opportunity to proactively
address such threats domestically.

•

At present there is insufficient information about prisoner radicalization to qualify
the threat. There is a significant lack of social science research on this issue. No
records currently exist, for example, on the religious affiliations of inmates when they
enter prison. This can be improved by policies that promote good research while
continuing to secure the rights of inmates who are involved in these studies. The
motivations for and incentives offered by terrorist groups must be better understood,
and the sequence of radicalization must be better understood to identify the steps
that separate a radicalized inmate from a terrorist recruit – that is, the factor or
factors that exist in prison that cause a few radicalized prisoners to pursue violence.

•

Prison officials are understandably stretched thin by the need to maintain order in
overcrowded and under-funded facilities. Nevertheless, because information is an
essential precursor to action, investigation of radicalization in prisons must become a
priority.

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

16

Recommendations
Prisoner radicalization is a potentially significant threat to U.S. national security. Conditions
in prison are conducive to radicalization, as demonstrated by Europe’s experience and cases
within the U.S. Radicalized prisoners are a potential pool of recruits by terrorist groups.
The U.S., with its large prison population, is at risk of facing the sort of homegrown
terrorism currently plaguing other countries. To deal with this threat before it materializes as
a terrorist attack, Congress should establish a commission to investigate prison radicalization.
An objective risk assessment is urgently needed to investigate this issue in depth, in order to
better understand the nature of the threat, and to calibrate and formulate our prevention and
response efforts accordingly.57
Religious radicalization within prisons is a complex problem and therefore no one profession
alone is equipped to analyze and recommend change. A multi-disciplinary approach that
includes perspectives of religion, criminal justice, law, and behavioral sciences is vital for
proactive analysis of the phenomenon. We would urge that the Commission seek to balance
the practice of religious freedom while preventing the spread of radical ideology in a religious
context.
Among the areas to be addressed by the commission are the following recommended priority
issues:
•

Objectively assess the risk posed by the influence of radical groups in the prison
system, as well as the current levels of information sharing between and among
agencies at all levels of government involved in managing inmates and monitoring
radical groups.

•

Identify steps to ensure the legitimacy of Islamic endorsing agencies so as to ensure a
reliable and effective process of providing religious services to Muslim inmates.

•

Identify steps to effectively reintegrate former inmates into the larger society, thereby
reducing the likelihood that they will be recruited by radical groups posing as social
service providers, or will act upon radical tendencies learned behind bars.

•

Identify broader areas of dialogue with the Muslim community to better facilitate
cultural understanding.

•

Identify lessons that can be learned and adapted from present and past efforts to
combat gangs and right-wing extremists in prisons. Existing prison programs
designed to prevent radicalization and recruitment or to disrupt radical groups,
whether at the local, state, federal, or international level, should be evaluated to
determine a set of “best practices” that can be used to develop a comprehensive
strategy to counter radicalization.

57

It should be noted that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are also conducting their
own strategic assessments regarding the scope of radicalization and recruitment in U.S. prisons from a law
enforcement-centric point of view.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION
•

17

Knowledge must be translated into action. Awareness, education and training
programs must be developed for personnel who work in prison, probation and parole
settings.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

A-1

Appendix A
Prisoner Radicalization Task Force Briefings*
•

Johari Abdul-Malik: Muslim Chaplain, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

•

Randy Beardsworth: Assistant Secretary for Strategic Planning , Department of
Homeland Security

•

Matthew Bettenhausen: Director, Office of Homeland Security, California

•

Alon Daniel: Counterterrorism Consultant, Transnational Crime and Corruption
Center, American University

•

Richard Davis: Senior Associate, Center for the Study of the Presidency; Former
Director of Prevention Policy, Homeland Security Advisory Council

•

Cindy Gatiglio: Intelligence Analyst, Emergency Operations Bureau, Terrorism Early
Warning Group, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

•

Matthew Hamidullah: Warden, Federal Bureau of Prisons in Estill, South Carolina

•

William Hipsley: Deputy Director, California Office of Homeland Security

•

Sunni-Ali Islam: Muslim Religious Service Provider, Ohio Department of
Rehabilitation and Corrections

•

James McMahon: Director, New York State Office of Homeland Security

•

Larry Meade: Sergeant, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

•

Todd Puhler: Federal Bureau of Investigations

•

Larry Richards: Detective, Emergency Operations Bureau, Terrorism Early Warning
Group, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

•

Rick Rimmer: Assistant Secretary, California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation

•

John Stedman: Lieutenant, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

•

Craig Trout: Federal Bureau of Prisons Detailee, Federal Bureau of Investigations

* The task force consulted, interviewed and received briefings from additional subject matter experts who wish
to remain anonymous. All briefings were conducted under “Chatham House” rules.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

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Appendix B
Additional Resources

I. BOOKS
1.

A Correctional Institution’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices, Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR), (2004).

2.

Felecia Dix-Richardson & Billy R. Close eds., Religion, the Community, and the Rehabilitation of
Criminal Offenders, (The Haworth Press, 2003) pp 87 – 107.

3.

Ihsan Bagby et. al, The American Mosque: A National Portrait, Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR), (2001).

4.

James A. Beckford, et al., Muslims in Prison Challenge and Change in Britain and France, (New York:
Palgrave Macmillan, Mar. 2, 2006) pp 1 – 305.

5.

Law Enforcement Official’s Guide to the Muslim Community, Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR), (2003).

6.

Saeed Ismaeel, The Difference Between the Shi’ite and the Majority of Muslim Scholars (3rd ed., Falls
Church, VA: Unites States Office, World Assembly of Muslim Youth, 1995)

II. REPORTS
1.

A Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Selection of Muslim Religious Services Providers, U.S.
Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, (Apr. 2004), available at
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/0404/final.pdf

2.

Christopher M. Blanchard, The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya, CRS Report for
Congress, Order Code RS21695, (Jan. 25, 2006), available at
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS21695.pdf#search=%22%22The%20Islamic%20Traditions%20o
f%20Wahhabism%20and%20Salafiyya%22%22

3.

Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons Summary of Findings and Recommendations, (June
2006), available at
http://www.prisoncommission.org/pdfs/prison_commission_summary.pdf#search=%22%22The%20
daily%20count%20of%20prisoners%20in%20the%20United%20States%20has%20surpassed%202.
2%20million.%20Over%20the%20course%20of%20a%22%22

4.

Inmate Religious Beliefs and Practices (Technical Reference), U.S. Department of Justice: Federal Bureau
of Prisons, (Mar. 27, 2002), available at
http://www.nicic.org/pubs/2002/017613.pdf.

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

B-2
5.

John J. Gibbons and Nicholas de B. Katzenbach, Confronting Confinement: A Report of the commission on
safety and abuse in America’s prisons, Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons, (June 2006),
available at http://www.prisoncommission.org/pdfs/Confronting_Confinement.pdf.

6.

Kristin Archick, et. al., Islamist Extremism in Europe, CRS Report for Congress, Order Code
RS22211, (Jan. 6, 2006), available at
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RS22211.pdf#search=%22%22Islamist%20Extremism%20in%20E
urope%22%22
Program Statement, U.S. Department of Justice: Federal Bureau of Prisons, (Dec. 31, 2004), available
at
http://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/trapp/BOP_5360_008.pdf#search=%22%22Religious%20reso
urces%20will%20be%20equitably%20distributed%20for%20the%22%22.

7.

8.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons: Semiannual Report to Congress, Office of the Inspector General, (Apr. 1,
2004 – Sept. 30, 2004), available at
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/semiannual/0411/bop.htm.

III. CONGRESSIONAL MATERIALS
1.

Hearing before Senate Committee on Intelligence of the United States Senate, (Feb. 16, 2005),
(Testimony of Robert S. Mueller, III, Director Federal Bureau of Investigation, available at
http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress05/mueller021605.htm.

2.

Hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Homeland
Security, "Terrorist Recruitment and Infiltration in the United States: Prisons and Military as an
Operational Base", (Oct.14, 2003), (Testimony of Dr. Michael Waller, Annenberg Professor of
International Communication the Institute of World Politics), available at
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1039743/posts

3.

Hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Homeland
Security, "Terrorist Recruitment and Infiltration in the United States: Prisons and Military as an
Operational Base", (Oct.14, 2003), (Testimony of John S. Pistole Assistant Director, Counterterrorism
Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation), available at
http://judiciary.senate.gov/testimony.cfm?id=960&wit_id=2718.

4.

Hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Homeland
Security, "Terrorist Recruitment and Infiltration in the United States: Prisons and Military as an
Operational Base", (Oct.14, 2003), (Paul Rogers, President of the American Correctional Chaplains
Association), available at http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/congress/2003_h/031014rogers.htm

5.

Hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Homeland
Security, "Terrorist Recruitment and Infiltration in the United States: Prisons and Military as an
Operational Base", (Oct.14, 2003), (Statement of J. Michael Waller, Annenberg Professor of
International Communication Institute of World Politics), available at
http://judiciary.senate.gov/testimony.cfm?id=960&wit_id=2719.

6.

Hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Homeland
Security, "Terrorist Recruitment and Infiltration in the United States: Prisons and Military as an
Operational Base", (Oct.14, 2003), (Testimony of Mr. Harley Lappin Director Federal Bureau of
Prisons), available at
http://judiciary.senate.gov/testimony.cfm?id=960&wit_id=2318.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

B-3

7.

Jess Maghan, The Post 9/11 Prison, Crime & Justice International, (Sept./Oct. 2004), available at
http://www.jmfcc.com/POST911-PRISON-Cji0409-10%20pgs%2012-19.pdf.

8.

Overview of Islamist Extremism in Europe, Hearing before the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, DC, (Apr. 5, 2006), (Testimony of Daniel Fried,
Assistant Secretary for European Affairs), available at http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/64192.htm.

9.

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security, (Oct. 14, 2003),
(Opening Statement of Senator Jon Kyl Chairman), available at
http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/congress/2003_h/030910-kyl.htm.

10. Terrorism: Radical Islamic Influence of Chaplaincy of The U.S. Military and Prisons: Hearing Before the
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security of the Committee on the Judiciary United
States Senate One Hundred Eighth Congress, First Session, Serial No. J–108–44, (Oct. 14, 2003),
available at
http://www.mipt.org/pdf/s-hrg108443.pdf#search=%22%22TERRORISM%3A%20RADICAL%20ISLAMIC%20INFLUENCE%20
OF%20CHAPLAINCY%20OF%20THE%20U.S.%20MILITARY%20AND%20PRISONS%22%
22

IV. ARTICLES, MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS, AND ONLINE SERVICES
1.

Adelle M. Banks, Senate Holds Hearing on How Muslim Chaplains Are Chosen, Religion News Service,
(Oct. 15, 2003), available at
http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=2746.

2.

Amy Menefee, Islamic Religious Groups Jockey for Prison Access as Concerns over Inmate Terrorism Grow,
Congressional Quarterly, (June 25, 2003), available at
http://www.defenddemocracy.org/cnlib/custom_tags/conte...y.org/in_the_media/in_the_media_show
.htm?doc_id=179485.

3.

Analysis of the Response by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to Recommendations in the OIG’s April 2004
Report on the Selection of Muslim Religious Services Providers, Office of the Inspector General, (July
2004), available at
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/0404/response.htm.

4.

Arnaud de Borchgrave, Criminals Recruited for 'Islamic Army' in America, NewsMax.com, (Aug. 21,
2002), available at
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/8/20/163711.shtml.

5.

Arthur C. Pace & Daniel DeBlock, Chaplain Ministry in Prison, (Winter-Spring 2000), available at
http://www.usachcs.army.mil/TACarchive/ACwinspr00/prison.htm.

6.

Aussie Dasher, Imams Vow to Preach Values of Islam, West, The Washington Times, (Apr. 10, 2006),
available at
http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1612265/posts

7.

B.A. Robinson, Potential for Radicalization of U.S. Muslim Prison Inmates, Ontario Consultants on
Religious Tolerance, (Aug. 20, 2005), available at
http://www.religioustolerance.org/islpris.htm.

8.

Bill Berkowitz, African American Muslims: A Clear and Present Danger?, Z Magazine Online, Vol. 16
No. 6, (June 2003), available at
http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Jun2003/berkowitzprint0603.html.

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

B-4
9.

C.T. Rossi, Today's Criminal Will Become Tomorrow's Islamic Terrorist, Free Congress Foundation,
(July 1, 2002), available at
http://www.freecongress.org/commentaries/2002/020625CR.asp.

10. Cal Thomas, Radical recruiting in America's prisons, Townhall.com, (Jun. 20, 2002), available at
http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/calthomas/2002/06/20/163601.html.
11. Charles Colson, Terrorists Behind Bars, First Things, (Nov. 2002), available at
http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0211/opinion/colson.html.
12. Chuck Colson, Al Qaeda and Converts to Islam, Townhall.com, (Apr. 28, 2004), available at
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/001759.php.
13. Chuck Colson, Evangelizing for Evil in Our Prisons: Radical Islamists Seek to Turn Criminals into
Terrorists, Wall Street Journal, (June 24, 2002), available at
http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.jsp?section=static&page=colson624.
14. Corey Weinstein & Eric Cummins, The Crime of Punishment Pelican Bay Maximum Security Prison
from the Book Criminal Injustice (Elihu Rosenblatt ed.), South End Press, (1996), available at
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Prison_System/CrimePunish_Pelican.html.
15. Craig S. Smith, Islam in Jail: Europe's Neglect Breeds Angry Radicals, Natasha Tynes, (Dec. 09, 2004),
available at
http://www.natashatynes.com/newswire/2004/12/islam_in_jail_e.html.
16. Daniel Pipes, Home-Grown Radical Islam Haunts L.A., The Daily News of Los Angeles (Sept. 11,
2005).
17. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Wahhabism in the Big House. The Weekly Standard, (Sept. 26, 2005),
available at
http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=5376.
18. Don Thompson, Terror Allegations Prompt Debate about Inmate Religious Meetings, Associated Press,
(Aug. 20, 2005), available at
http://www.sfgate.com/cgibin/article.cgi?file=/n/a/2005/08/19/state/n170307D66.DTL&type=printable
19. Edward E. Plowman, Rubber-Stamping Islamic Chaplains?, WiccaNet, (Sep. 17, 2004), available at
http://wiccanet.us/CMS/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=153&mode=thre
ad&order=0&thold=0.
20. Elaine Ganley, Officials Concerned about Muslim Converts, WorldWide Religious News, (Jan.17,
2006), available at
http://www.wwrn.org/article.php?idd=20126&sec=33&con=2
21. Elizabeth Bryant, Radical Islam Preached in 1 of 3 Jails, Monsters and Critics.com, (Jan. 13, 2006),
available at http://www.monstersandcritics.com/error.php.
22. Eric Lichtblau, Report Warns of Infiltration by Al Qaeda in U.S. Prisons, The New York Times, (May
5, 2004), available at
http://groups.google.com/group/talk.politics.usa/browse_thread/thread/621e4c6058a58974/c95c1c3b
a6cf15d0?lnk=raot#c95c1c3ba6cf15d0.
23. Esther Hartstein, Prisoners Being Recruited to Radical Islam, The American Daily, (Dec. 2, 2003),
available at
http://www.americandaily.com/article/3997.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

B-5

24. First Annual Muslim Chaplain Conference Detailed Report, Islamic Society of North America, (Aug. 30
– Sept. 1, 2005), at
http://www.ildc.net/2005-mcc-report/.
25. Four Accused of L.A. Terror Plots, CBS News, (Aug. 31, 2005), available at
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/08/31/terror/main810568.shtml.
26. France: Islam in Jail, The Real Cost of Prisons Weblog, (Dec. 8, 2004), available at
http://realcostofprisons.org/blog/archives/2004/12/francelslam_in.html.
27. Frank J. Gaffney Jr., Preachers for Terrorism, Washington Times, (Oct. 14, 2003), available at
http://ww.frontpagemag.com/articles/Printable.asp?ID=10327.
28. George W. Knox, The Problem of Gangs and Security Threat Groups (STG’s) in American Prisons Today:
Recent Research Findings From the 2004 Prison Gang Survey, National Gang Crime Research Center,
(2005), available at
http://www.ngcrc.com/corr2006.html.
29. Hadi Yahmid, French Prisons Teeming with Muslims, Islamonline.net, (June 19, 2005), available at
http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2005-06/19/article04.shtml.
30. Helping Prisoners Turn their Lives Around, AMILA, (visited Sept. 4, 2006), available at
http://www.amila.org/about/intro.php.
31. Ian M. Cuthbertson, Prisons and the Education of Terrorists, World Policy Journal, (Fall 2004),
available at
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_go1879/is_200409/ai_n9730117.
32. Ibrahim B. Syed, Education of Muslims in Kentucky Prisons, Islamic Research Foundation
International, (visited Sept. 4, 2006), available at
http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_1_50/education_of_muslims_in_kentucky.htm.
33. Islamic Chaplain Banned from Prison Ministry for September 11 Remarks, Associated Press, (Feb. 6,
2003), available at
http://www.siteinstitute.org/bin/articles.cgi?ID=news3203&Category=news&Subcategory=0.
34. Islamic Chaplaincy Program, Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim
Relations, (visited Sept. 4, 2006), available at
http://macdonald.hartsem.edu/default.htm.
35. J. Michael Waller, FBI Bowing to Radical Islam?: Official Declines to Speak about Wahhabi-Terror Link
at Senate Hearing, Worldnetdaily, News World Communications Inc., (July 31, 2003), available at
http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=19895&Disp=0.
36. Jail Worry over Islam Converts, Australian Associated Press General News, (Nov. 7, 2005), available at
http://forums.muslimvillage.net/lofiversion/index.php/t16726.html.
37. Jeff Johnson, Investigation of 'Terrorist Recruitment' Concerns Muslims, CNSNews.com Congressional
Bureau Chief, (Sept. 29, 2003), available at
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPrint.asp?Page=%5CPentagon%5Carchive%5C200309%5CPEN200
30929a.html.
38. Jenifer Warren, and Greg Krikorian, Prisons Weigh Threat of Radical Islamist Gangs, Los Angeles
Times, (Sept. 4, 2005), available at
http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=5309.
39. Jerry Seper, Prisons Breeding Ground for Terror?, The Washington Times, (May 6, 2004), available at
http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20040505-111705-4604r.htm.

GW HSPI/UVA CIAG

B-6

40. Jesse J. Holland, New protocol is set on Muslim chaplains, Associated Press & Boston.com, (Oct. 15,
2003), available at
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2003/10/15/
new_protocol_is_set_on_muslim_chaplains/.
41. Keith Johnson & David Crawford, Do Jails Breed Terrorists?: In Europe, Threat Seems to Be
Exacerbated, Not Blunted, in Prison, The Wall Street Journal, (June 20, 2005), available at
http://www.desdeelexilio.com/2005/06/21/.
42. Louis Proyect, European prisoners turn to Islam, The New York Times, (Dec. 8, 2004), available at
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/08/international/europe/08prisons.html.
43. Louisa Cleave, Prison Staff on Alert for Terror Links, New Zealand Herald, (Dec. 23, 2005), available
at
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/print.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10361202.
44. Lucasville Prison Riot, Ohio Historical Society, (2005), available at
http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=1634.
45. M. Amir Ali, Islam in Prisons: The III&E Contribution over a Decade1, Islamic Society of North
America, (2005), available at
http://www.isna.net/services/library/papers/america/IslamInPrison.html.
46. Mark Almond, Why Terrorists Love Criminals (And Vice Versa) Many a Jihadi began as a Hood,
Opinion Journal, (June 22, 2002), available at
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110001881.
47. Matt Krasnowski, Is Prison a Terrorism Breeding Ground?, Balita Media Inc., (Aug. 27, 2005),
available at
http://www.balita.com/_2005/082705/community11.php.
48. Matt Krasnowski, Probe Fans Fears of Prison Terror Plots, Union-Tribune, (Aug. 22, 2005), available
at
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/terror/20050822-9999-1n22prison.html.
49. Muslim Chaplains Determined to Join Hands in Serving Community and Nation, Islamic Society of
North America, (Sept. 11, 2005), available at
http://www.ildc.net/display/ShowJournalEntry?moduleId=192808&entryId=250160&printerFriendl
y=true.
50. Muslim Chaplains Meet in Chicago to Map out the Future, Islamic Society of North America, (July 22,
2005), available at
http://www.ildc.net/display/ShowJournalEntry?moduleId=192808&entryId=212744&printerFriendl
y=true.
51. Muslim Chaplains: Challenges, Opportunities and the Road Ahead First Annual Muslim Chaplain
Conference Detailed Report, Islamic Society of North America, (Aug. 30 - Sept. 1, 2005), available at
http://www.ildc.net/2005-mcc-report.
52. Mustafa Akyol, Anti-Terrorism Resources: Understanding Radical Islam-How we Got Here, Free
Muslims against Terrorism, (2006), available at http://www.freemuslims.org/document.php?id=55.
53. Nathalie Malinarich, Europe Moves Against Radical Imams, BBC News Online, (June 5, 2004),
available at
http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3686617.stm.

Out of the Shadows: GETTING AHEAD OF PRISONER RADICALIZATION

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54. No Proof of Terrorist Recruitment by Muslims in US Jails, Daily Times, (June 6, 2005), available at
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/print.asp?page=2005%5C06%5C06%5Cstory_6-6-2005_pg7_45.
55. Outraged by Government Leaks, Muslim Leaders Underscore Value of Chaplains, MPAC News, (Aug. 19,
2005), available at
http://www.archives2005.ghazali.net/html/outraged_by.html.
56. Paul Howard, A Fifth Column in the Prisons? Let’s keep firebrand Muslim clerics away from prisoners,
City Journal, (Spring 2006), available at
http://www.city-journal.org/printable.php?id=1997.
57. Rachel Zoll, Islam Behind Bars: American Prisons Have Become Focus of Political, Religious, Arizona
Daily Star, (June 5, 2005), available at
http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/printDS/78328.
58. Radical Indoctrination in the U.S. Prisons, American Congress for Truth, available at
http://cedarmailer.com/americancongress/pages/archive/messagedetails.asp?ID=256.
59. Radical Islam in U.S. Prisons, Profiles in Terror, (Dec. 28, 2003), available at
http://www.profilesinterror.com/updates/2003_12_28_archive.html.
60. Radical Islamists in Calfornia Prisons, LA Times, (Aug. 20, 2005), available at
http://talkleft.com/new_archives/011930.html.
61. Rajeev Syal & Chris Hastings, Warnings on Jail Muslims were Ignored by Ministers, telegraph.co.uk,
(Aug. 31, 2002), available at
http://propagandamatrix.com/warnings_on_jail_muslims_were_ignored_by_ministers.html.
62. Ramadan Challenges Inmates, Prisons as Islam Spreads, Religion Link, (Oct. 9, 2003), available at
http://www.religionlink.org/tip_031009b.php.
63. Renwick McLean, Spanish Prisons Provide Pool of Recruits for Radical Islam, The New York Times,
(Oct. 31, 2004), available at
http://www.religionnewsblog.com/print.php?p=9184.
64. Rise of Islam in jails a risk?, WorldWide Religious News, (July 07, 2004), available at
http://www.wwrn.org/article.php?idd=10213&sec=33&con=5.
65. Robert S. Leiken, Europe's Angry Muslims, Foreign Affairs, (July/Aug. 2005), available at
http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20050701faessay84409/robert-s-leiken/europe-s-angrymuslims.html?mode=print.
66. Russ Wellen, The New Dream Team: White Power and Radical Islam, freezerbox.com, (Dec. 13,
2005), available at
http://www.freezerbox.com/archive/article.php?id=397.
67. Searching for Mecca in American Prisons, Taqrir Washington, (visited Sept. 4, 2006), available at
http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:1xkJRwPGAgJ:www.taqrir.org/eng/showarticle.cfm%3Fid%3D32.
68. Senator Jon Kyl, Radical Chaplains, Reprinted from National Review On-Line (Oct. 15, 2003),
available at
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/kyl200310150824.asp.
69. Senator Jon Kyl, Winning the Future, National Ledger.com, (Feb. 27, 2006), available at
http://www.newt.org/backpage.asp?art=2763.

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70. Sheila B. Lalwani, Islam and the Black Inmate: Many Convert while Behind Bars, Journal Sentinel Inc.,
(Mar. 18, 2006), available at http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=408883&format=print.
71. Siraj Islam Mufti, Islam in American Prisons, Islam Online, (Aug. 31, 2001), available at
http://www.islam-online.net/english/Views/2001/08/article20.shtml.
72. Stephen Schwartz, Islam in the Big House: How Radical Muslims Took over the American Prison System,
The Weekly Standard, (Apr. 24, 2006), available at
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=12120&R=EC5F23254.
73. Stephen Schwartz, Radical Islam in America: The Media, Prisons, the Military, and Academia are Four
Key Areas Here the Saudi Government and its Wahhabi Ideology have Gained Tremendous Influence in
the U.S, Society for the Advancement of Education (2005), available at
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_2726_134/ai_n15863573/print.
74. Susan Schmidt, Spreading Saudi Fundamentalism in U.S. Network of Wahhabi Mosques, Schools, Web
Sites Probed by FBI, Washington Post Staff Writer, (Oct. 2, 2003), available at
http://www.emjournal.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/aaoc03001.html.
75. Ted Conover, Ministering to the Enemy, New York Times Magazine, (Oct. 12, 2003), available at
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/12/magazine/12ESSAY.html?ex=1381377600&en=
a8d5b9a99ec22665&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND.
76. The Wrong Kind of Prison Fellowship, BreakPoint Commentaries (Criminal Justice), (Oct. 18, 2005),
available at
http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=1497.
77. U.S. Prisons Becoming Islam Battleground, The Multi faith Library, (July 14, 2005), available at
http://www.library.omc.ca/mtarchives/000073.html.
78. Urban Fox, Captive Converts: What Makes Islam So Attractive to Prisoners?, Times Online
Correspondent, (Aug. 11, 2005), available at
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,18389-1732611,00.html.
79. Wahhabi Prison Fellowship, Weekly Standard, (Sept. 17, 2005), available at
http://counterterror.typepad.com/the_counterterrorism_blog/2005/09/weekly_standard.html.
80. What Is “Prison Islam”?, SEMP Biot #128, (Oct. 27, 2004), available at
http://www.semp.us/biots/biot_128.html.
81. Yehudit Barsk, Prisons are Creating Terrorists in our Midst, The American Jewish Committee, (Sept.
30, 2005), available at
http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=838493&ct=
1468229&printmode=1.

V. MEDIA
1.

“Captive Audience”, Directors: Jamieson Clair, Mukul Devichand & Muhammed Athar Lila;
Producer: Columbia University graduate student, at
http://www.cameraplanet.com/divisions/com/?f_id=274.

 

 

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