Jul 22 2011
Radical Islam spreading in US prisons [Excerpts]
US prisons are becoming a hotbed for indoctrinating inmates and turning them into radical Muslims, US lawmakers were told Wednesday in the second of a series of controversial hearings.
"Despite appearances, prison walls are porous. Outside influences access those on the inside, and inmates reach from the inside out," Patrick Dunleavy, a retired New York prison inspector, told US lawmakers.
"Individuals and groups that subscribe to radical Islamic ideology have made sustained efforts to target inmates for indoctrination."
He was addressing a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Representative Peter King, whose first session in March on Muslim radicalization in the United States drew accusations of a religious witch hunt.
"Dozens of ex-cons who became radicalized Muslims inside US prisons have gone to Yemen to join an Al-Qaeda group run by a fellow American, Anwar al-Awlaqi," King, a Republican, told the committee.
Awlaqi's "terrorists have attacked the US Homeland several times since 2008 and are generally acknowledged to be Al-Qaeda most dangerous affiliate," he added.
King has accused Muslim leaders and mosque imams of doing too little to stop the radicalization of young Americans and are not cooperating with law enforcement.