Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Where Supermax Meets Supermosque

One thing about last week’s thwarted terror attacks in New York state is what is says about America's prisons being the Billy Graham Crusades of Muslim outreach.

Steven Emerson writes:

Amid all the shocking details in the disrupted plot to bomb Bronx synagogues and fire missiles at American military aircraft, one component of the case should come as no surprise - three of the alleged culprits converted to radical Islam in prison.

Radical Islamists have targeted prison populations for recruitment for years. That's where Jose Padilla, suspected of plotting to detonate a dirty bomb and convicted of conspiracy to murder people overseas and of providing material support to terrorists, converted and was radicalized.

That's where a California man, Kevin James, created his own cell, called the Jam'iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh (JIS), and recruited other inmates to plot attacks against military and Jewish targets in and around Los Angeles.

In New York, the man who was the head Muslim chaplain for state prisons considered the 9/11 hijackers to be martyrs. Warith Deen Umar spent 20 years working with New York prisons, overseeing the hiring of Muslim chaplains and leading prayer services.

As for it being unlikely that a terrorist could escape from a supermax prison when no one else has been able to do so, there are still plenty of ways to do damage from inside.

We saw this in the case of the Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, whom Obama’s defenders like to point to as an example of a terrorist tucked harmlessly away in an American jail.

But Lynne Stewart, attorney for the Blind Sheikh, used her access to her incarcerated client to assist the Sheikh Omar in getting his murderous fatwas out to his terrorist supporters.

Andrew McCarthy, the federal prosecutor who put the Blind Sheikh in prison, describes it:

Stewart was convicted of providing material support to terrorists — specifically, of providing the Egyptian Islamic Group (Gamaat al Islamia, one of the world’s most barbaric terrorist organizations and an al Qaeda ally) with the guidance of its leader, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman . . . . And we are not talking here about just any kind of support. The message she conveyed was that Abdel Rahman no longer supported the Islamic Group’s ceasefire in Egypt. Translation: Let’s get back to slaughtering innocents, like we did in the 1997 Luxor massacre, in which the Islamic Group brutally killed nearly 60 tourists, inserting into some of the mutilated corpses pamphlets demanding the blind sheikh’s release.
Nor do terrorists like KSM compare, in kind, with even the worst of the violent convicts being held in supermax prisons. Personally dangerous as some of those inmates are, they don’t enjoy martyrdom status with armies of suicidal sympathizers around the world ready to annihilate themselves and other people to try and break them out.

Who knows what all the risks and additional problems will have to be faced by the President's decision to close Gitmo and bring these guys here? The only thing certain is that we wouldn’t have to face any of those problems if President Obama had left Gitmo alone. Of all the things he said in his speech last week at the National Archives, his charge that the Bush administraton “made decisions based upon fear rather than foresight,” was the most upside-down.

How can he accuse the Bush administration of lacking foresight, when even eight years ago Bush and his advisers showed their foresight of these very problems, and how to pre-empt them, by setting up the detention center at Guantanamo Bay? This President’s foresight hasn’t even extended to his own Senate shooting him down out of political fear.

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