Joel Mowbray
By the end of the month, Bureau of Prisons employee Joe Mansour faces what could well be a death sentence. His crime? After being ignored by BOP higher-ups, he warned Congress and the public about the spread of radical Islam in the federal prisons—and his employers’ inability to cope with the growing crisis.

During his disability leave—from which he is slated to return on February 27—Mansour has been informed of threats from Muslim inmates at the prison in Lee County, VA that he considers credible, which is why he has filed numerous transfer requests. Unfortunately for Mansour, his employer apparently does not feel the same. Though such requests are routinely granted, BOP has denied or ignored each one.

Mansour was interviewed on camera by NBC News last March, and he discussed his role in translating Arabic communications of inmates, including in terror-related cases. That was not all. Among other things, he was an acknowledged source for this journalist in a front-page Washington Times story last July on BOP’s lack of Arabic translators. Consequently, he says, many Muslim inmates who used to harbor less suspicion of him because he’s Muslim now view him as a traitor, someone who has attacked Islam.

Anyone who wonders what a fundamentalist Muslim might be capable of when he believes his religion has been offended needs to look no further than the murderous riots around the world protesting a cartoon. Add to that mix the fact that many, if not most, of the Muslim inmates in federal prison are there for violent crimes, and the real question is why the BOP didn’t act on its own initiative to move Mansour to a new facility.

When questioned last summer by aides to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), BOP officials bizarrely claimed that Mansour was not, in fact, a whistleblower. They asserted that Mansour was simply bootstrapping the whistleblowing to a discrimination complaint he filed in 2004, in which he alleged harassment by co-workers because of his Arab ethnicity.

But not only did Mansour ask for no money in his complaint, but he first warned his superiors in an April 2003 letter that letters and phone calls of terrorists were going “unmonitored due to a lack of Arabic speaking staff.”

Looking at the actions of both Mansour and the BOP, it is hard to believe that the situation is anything other than as it appears: a whistleblower whose motives are purely being punished by an embarrassed and vindictive employer.

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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