Allen Hunt

Guantanamo is no threat; the prison in your own community is. Have I got your attention?

Four men were arrested this past week for allegedly plotting a terror attack on two Bronx synagogues and an Air National Guard flight. They possessed a car load of explosives and a Stinger missile they believed to be real (fortunately, it was not).

What do the four men have in common? More than you would ever guess.

Laguerre Payen, Onta Williams, David Williams, and James Cromitie all had violent pasts. All had recently served time in an American prison or jail. Most significantly, all four men exited their prison time as Muslims.

None appears to have been born Muslim; however, the time in an American prison resulted in their embracing the supposed religion of peace, Islam.

How can this be? Very simple. For decades, Islamic groups have strategically targeted American prison populations as a fertile field for growth and as a seedbed for homegrown terrorists. What we are seeing now is merely the fruit of that missionary effort by groups like the National Islamic Prison Foundation, formerly run by a top Al-Qaeda fund-raiser who himself is now behind bars, the Islamic Assembly of North America, and the Islamic Society of North America. Much of these groups' funding comes from Saudi Arabian proponents of Wahhabism, the most violent segment within Islam. A little-noted editorial in Investors' Business Daily clearly articulated this threat back in 2007. This week's arrests made that warning all the more real.

These groups' strategy is brilliant – find the most disenchanted American residents, who already speak English and understand American culture; attract them to Islam and its most violent expressions; and then turn them loose on their own homeland. In other words, target those Americans most likely to be anti-American and then give them the philosophy and tools to live out those hostile convictions.

Shortly after the events of September 11, in the Wall Street Journal, Charles Colson noted the danger when he wrote, “Two million people occupy America's prisons and jails today--two-thirds of whom are nonwhite. Many feel oppressed by the white power structure and sentencing disparities, which too often fall most harshly on minorities.”

So what do you get when you have terrorist groups targeting the most angry, resentful, and angry members of American society? Homegrown terrorists like Jose Padilla, the four men suspected in the Bronx plot, not to mention prison convert Richard Reid in Great Britain. The chickens have come home to roost.

Allen Hunt

Allen Hunt is the host of the natioanlly syndicated talk radio program, the Allen Hunt show.
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