For many Islamic terrorists who end up in U.S. prisons, the jihad does not stop, according to a former deputy inspector general for the New York State Department of Corrections.
Patrick Dunleavy, now a senior fellow for the Investigative Project on Terrorism, writes that Islamic terrorists “simply do not fear the U.S. prison system.”
Dunleavy, a target of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for his course to military personnel on terrorism, said that for one thing, imprisoned jihadists can exploit rehabilitation programs that aim to re-establish family ties.
Phone calls, visits, and even educational and religious volunteer programs have been exploited for jihadist objectives, he pointed out.
As WND reported, CAIR successfully pressed the Pentagon to formally review the content of a counter-terrorism training program Dunleavy teaches in the United States Air Force Special Operations School called “The Dynamics of International Terrorism.” Dunleavy is still teaching the special forces officers, but CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood-founded groups in the U.S. have been able to quash many similar programs throughout the federal government that simply demonstrate that terrorists worldwide cite Islamic texts as their motivation.
In his piece for the Investigative Project on Terrorism, he noted Islamic terrorist leaders such as al-Qaida’s Ayman al-Zawahri have publicly announced their support for imprisoned members in communiques and in online outlets such as al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine.
They tell their members they are not forgotten and they pray for their release so they can rejoin the fight.
Another equally important factor, Dunleavy said, is that terrorists know that they will be placed in the general prison population and be afforded all the accompanying privileges and rights.
“A terrorist is not rendered harmless when incarcerated; he will act when he can, and where he can’t, he will influence,” Dunleavy wrote.
‘Prison is nothing’
He cited the declaration of Ali Saleh, a 25-year-old man from New York City who was arrested in 2015 for providing material support to a terrorist organization.
“I am ready to die for the Caliphate, prison is nothing,” Saleh said.
Less than two weeks before his guilty plea, Saleh plunged a shank into a correction officer at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, reportedly smiling as he did.
“I hope you die,” he told the officer, who survived.
In 2000, al-Qaida terrorist Mamdouh Mahmud Salim and his co-defendant Khalfan Khamis Mohamed lured correction officer Louis Pepe into their cell and then stabbed him in the eye with a jailhouse knife.
They then poured a boiling liquid substance into the eye socket. The blade penetrated Pepe’s brain, leaving him permanently disabled.
Salim and Mohamed were awaiting sentencing for their roles in al-Qaida’s 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania.
Dunleavy listed many more examples.
He noted the vast majority of incarcerated terrorists are not in supermax prisons. Most transition from maximum security prisons to less secure facilities over time.
“Rather than fear the system, they milk it by demanding their rights under the Constitution they are seeking to destroy,” he said.
Dunleavy emphasized there is no specific program mandated by the Bureau of Prisons or any state correctional agency that specifically addresses the jihadist movement.
He asked: “At this point in the war on terrorism, 25 years after the first World Trade Center attack, isn’t it time we figured it out so that the Louis Pepe’s and Ali Saleh’s victim are safe and we stop the conveyor belts inside prison walls that often turn petty criminals into jihadists?”
Dunleavy argued people who declare allegiance to an international terrorist organization that has declared war on the United States are enemy combatants.
“They should be isolated from other inmates and housed in a maximum security prison,” he said. “Treated humanely, not tortured or abused, but not released until the hostilities are over or the enemy has surrendered.”