Prison Jihad

Crimes involving prison converts to Islam are a grave and under-reported problem.

New extremists are being created in our prisons, the very institution meant to deter crime. Two stories recently broke about people who converted to Islam in prison that acted in violent compliance with their new ideology. The media, for the most part, dropped the stories, leaving the American people unaware of the growing trend.

The October arrest of a man in Ohio named Abdullah Mohammed Muslim, formerly known as Johnnie Clagg, has now come to light. He was pulled over and arrested by a police officer for identity theft in order to get a passport so he could leave the country. Law enforcement searched his house and found a large stockpile of weapons.

The arsenal included the material for five pipe bombs, two AK-47s, smoke canisters, an assault rifle, a ballistic vest and ballistic face mask, a semiautomatic rifle, a flak jacket and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Additional facts help to identify the intent behind this collection. The police found a CD containing parts of “The Anarchist Cookbook,” a well-known guide to making explosives, and a CD with photos of the crash site of a small plane in the state. And as CBN’s Erick Stakelback has found out, the purpose behind the attempted passport fraud was so he could flee the U.S. before being sentenced for previous weapons-related charges.

Muslim’s attorney has confirmed that he had spent time on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan, the exact spot that radical Islamic militants have found safe haven, have constructed terrorist camps, and are recruiting Westerners to come for training and deployment. To any rational observer, Muslim would appear to be involved in terrorism, but federal authorities told Ohio’s Channel 10 News when the story broke that there was no connection to terrorism. As a result, the story failed to gain traction in the media outside of the local news and a follow-up report by CBN. At the time of this writing, a Google News search of the suspect’s name only brings up two results.

On April 14, a prison convert named James Larry slaughtered his family in Chicago. His brother says that in the days prior to the attack, he was acting differently, carrying around a Koran and saying it called for killing. The sister of his wife said he had begun talking about “going to Allah” and was fighting with his wife because she refused to wear a hijab. An apparent act of mass honor killing followed.

Larry shot and murdered his family. His pregnant wife, 7-year old son named Jihad, and two of his nieces, including one who was pregnant, were killed. His mother and nephew suffered severe injuries and went to the hospital. His 12-year old niece escaped as Larry shot at her as she fled. She managed to run into a gas station and have a worker call her mom. When the police arrived, Larry said he was bringing his family to Allah and said, “I wish I had more bullets. I wish I had more bullets.” His attorney says he is mentally ill and “suffering greatly” over his actions.

This just continues the pattern of the media failing to bring proper emphasis to worthy reports and the government steering the country into complacency by automatically downplaying suggestions that nearly any incident is connected to terrorism or radical Islam.

Last September, another American who converted to Islam while in prison named Michael C. Finton, who also went by the name of Talib Islam, was arrested in Illinois. He was a fan of Anwar al-Awlaki and traveled to Saudi Arabia in April 2008 using $1,375 sent to him from someone inside that country. Upon his return, he told an undercover FBI agent that he desired to go to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to fight Israel, but he also wanted to attack the United States. The FBI gave him fake explosives which he loaded into his truck so he could destroy the Paul Findley Federal Building in Springfield. After he tried to detonate the bombs with his cell phone and nothing happened, he found himself in handcuffs and in federal custody.

This is just an accounting of some recent incidents involving prison converts that didn’t receive the attention they are due. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee says that up to 36 American-Muslims who have served time in prison have recently gone to Yemen, claiming they are learning Arabic. Al-Qaeda has a vibrant branch there that may have recruited some of these so-called students. U.S. forces are trying to stop the next generation of terrorists from being bred overseas, but plenty are being born among Westerners who converted to Islam while serving time or shortly thereafter.