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Commentary

Watchdog: Feds Allowing Jihadi Extremists to Lead Religious Groups in Prison

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The Federal Bureau of Prisons is allowing inmates with known ties to jihadist terrorist organizations to lead religious services, raising “significant” concerns that the prisoners could use their leadership positions to radicalize other inmates.

The alarming revelations were spotlighted in a 57-page audit released Wednesday by the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Justice.

“[W]e found that some institutions permitted inmates with a known nexus to international or domestic terrorism to lead religious services,” the OIG report said.

The Office of the Inspector General, the watchdog responsible for oversight of the Justice Department, is led by Michael Horowitz, an appointee of former President Barack Obama.

The OIG said the reason known inmates are being allowed to lead religious services in federal prisons is a severe staffing shortage.

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“We found that a significant shortage in the number of chaplains and other chaplaincy services staff impairs the BOP’s ability to implement a safe and effective religious services program,” the report said.

“As a result, many institutions rely on alternative religious services options, such as inmate-led services. However, we found that the BOP often undertook these alternative options without ensuring adequate supervision and oversight of them.”

According to the OIG report, numerous Bureau of Prisons staffers are worried about the dangers of allowing radicals to potentially indoctrinate and convert inmates.

“BOP staff members consistently told us that inmate-led services presented safety and security risks,” the report said.

“One particular concern was the potential for an inmate to use a religious leadership role to engage in prohibited activities or as a method to obtain power and influence among the inmate population.”



Because of the staffing shortage, these so-called religious services are not appropriately monitored.

“We determined that inmates incarcerated for terrorism-related crimes, or with known connections to terrorist organizations, were permitted to lead religious services at 4 of the 12 BOP facilities we visited,” the report found.

At one facility, investigators said, “we found that an al-Qaeda affiliated inmate, who was convicted on terrorism charges, was permitted to lead services on a frequent basis.”

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“At two other facilities we learned that inmates with ties to two prominent terrorist groups, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Shabaab were permitted to lead services, with at least one doing so on a regular basis at this facility,” it said.

Employees said the BOP’s chapel libraries contain nearly 800,000 religious texts, books with religious themes as well as audio and video recordings in foreign languages.

Because there aren’t enough employees in the bureau, these materials are not properly vetted to ensure they don’t contain dangerous rhetoric that could radicalize inmates by indoctrinating them with anti-American, anti-Christian propaganda.

“This creates a risk that libraries may contain media that is inappropriate for a correctional institution, including items we found during our audit that advocated violence and extremism,” the OIG report revealed.

OIG Report by The Western Journal

What this chilling report spotlights is that America’s federal prisons — which house numerous violent criminals, including radical Islamic terrorists — are similar to our southern border in that they’re not being properly monitored to ensure public safety.

There have been numerous findings and extensive research confirming that many jihadis with terrorist groups such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State were radicalized in U.S. prisons.

In fact, many federal facilities are fertile breeding grounds for these murderous, anti-American extremists.

It’s bad enough that Americans now have to worry about being assaulted or murdered while walking around the crime-infested streets of Democrat-run cities.

But they’re also under siege by caravans of unvetted illegal aliens barraging the porous southern border, as well as potential terrorists being indoctrinated in federal prisons that they’re paying for with their tax dollars.

This dystopic madness must end.

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