“Losing Our Sons” is a film telling the story of Carlos Bledsoe and Andy Long. Carlos Bledsoe was an African-American from a Baptist family who converted to Islam. On June 9, 2009, Carlos Bledsoe murdered Andy Long, a U. S. Army Recruiter in Little Rock, Arkansas. Carlos Bledsoe states that he did it “for Allah.” The film traces Carlos’ path from middle class student to American jihadi, and shows how American institutions at every level failed us all.
The recent beheading in Moore, Oklahoma, has some similar elements to the story of the shooting of Andy Long. Carlos Bledsoe became a radical Islamist in college; it is very likely that Alton Nolen became a radical Islamist in prison.
In April of this year, the Clarion Project posted an article on its website entitled, “Why Extremist Chaplains Have Access to U.S. Prisons.”
The article cites a number of ways radical Islamists have gained access to American prisoners. The following is one example:
Ryan Mauro: We recently wrote about Dar al-Hijrah, an extremist mosque attended by three of the 9/11 hijackers, has engaged in prison outreach in Washington D.C. for 10 years. Based on your experience, is this an oddity or are Islamist extremist groups commonly given that access?
Patrick Dunleavy: No, I do not find it to be an oddity. On the contrary, it is quite common. For years, the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences in Ashburn, V.A. provided funding, training and literature to correctional institution imams, under the direction of Dr. Taha Jabir Alalwani.
He was also at times the head of the Fiqh Council of North America. Before coming to the United States, Alalwani was a professor at a state-run Wahhabi university in Saudi Arabia. He worked closely with Warith Deen Umar to see that literature, clergy and visiting speakers adhered to a strict Wahhabi/Salafist form of Islam.
Umar was a former New York State inmate who went on to become the head of Islamic Affairs for the New York State Prison’s Department of Ministerial Services. He was also the founder and head of the National Association of Muslim Chaplains, the chief certifying body of Islamic clergy in the prison system. He was later caught justifying the 9/11 attacks and terrorism to prison inmates.
On September 30, Fox News posted an article about the radicalization of American prisoners.
The article stated:
A 2010 law enforcement bulletin from the FBI titled “Prisoner Radicalization,” describes a radical strain of Islam prevalent in prisons called Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh, which means “Assembly of Authentic Islam.” The interpretation, sometimes referred to as “Prison Islam,” supports the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, or government, in the United States and advocates the targeting of the American and Israeli governments, as well as Jews, in retaliation for their policies regarding Muslims, according to the FBI bulletin. For violence-prone men who find the tradition teachings of Islam or those of the Nation of Islam unfulfilling, a call to carnage in the name of faith can be alluring, according to the FBI.
“Prisons literally provide a captive audience of disaffected young men easily influenced by charismatic extremist leaders,” the FBI wrote.
The Blaze posted an article on September 29 which included Alton Nolen’s family asking for prayers. The son they raised was not the same person who was released from prison. He became a radical either during his time in prison or shortly thereafter.
Another quote from the Clarion Project provides some insight into the problem of radical Muslim chaplains in American prisons:
Mauro: How does this happen? Is there not a vetting process for these groups and preachers that are given access to inmates?
Dunleavy: The reason this continues is that, contrary to the Department of Justice Inspector-General’s recommendation for a certifying body for the hiring of Islamic clergy, there remains a vacuum in the certification process.
America, we need to wake up to the threat within.