AJC: Prisons are terrorist breeding ground


From the American Jewish Committee:

AJC Praises NYPD, FBI for Foiling Plot to Bomb New York Synagogues

May 21, 2009 – New York – The American Jewish Committee (AJC) praised law enforcement authorities for foiling a terror plot to bomb synagogues in New York City.

“Our highest praise goes to the New York Police Department and FBI for the arrests of four men who had planned to bomb the Riverdale Temple and the Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “While tragedy thankfully was averted, this is a poignant reminder that homegrown terror in the United States remains a real possibility.”

The four men arrested reportedly first had met in prison, and, more recently, attended a mosque in Newburgh, NY. Three of the four — David Williams, Onta Williams, and Laguerre Payen – reportedly converted to Islam while in prison. The fourth is James Cromitie, whose family immigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan.

The plotters also were also planning attacks on military planes at an Air National Guard base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y.

AJC warned four years ago about the threat of radical Islam infiltrating U.S. prisons.

“American prisons have become prime recruiting grounds for incubating terrorists,” wrote Yehudit Barsky, director of AJC’s Division on Middle East and International Terrorism, in an op-ed published in the Forward in 2005. Warning that radical Islamic preachers are serving as prison chaplains, Barsky called on the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and FBI to monitor the entire prison system and take effective steps to counter the influence of radical Islam among inmates.

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