Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism's Prison Connection

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism's Prison Connection

Article excerpt

The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism's Prison Connection. By Patrick T. Dunleavy. Dulles, Va.: Potomac, 2011. 192 pp. $27.50.

Islamist terror networks have made recruitment of disenfranchised individuals such as prison inmates a top priority, former New York State corrections official Dunleavy writes in his powerful new book. A 26-year veteran of the New York State Department of Correctional Services, he played a major role in Operation Hades, an investigation into radical Islamic recruiting activities involving New York prisons, a process going on for decades and, in some respects, abetted by government actions.

Dunleavy focuses on the case of Abdel Nasser Zaben, a West Bank native and Hamas member. Zaben illegally entered the United States in 1990, moved to Brooklyn and attended the alFarouq mosque, home to Sheikh Omar AbdelRahman, now serving a life sentence for his role in a 1995 terror plot. Zaben and an Islamist accomplice robbed people at gunpoint until Zaben was arrested in 1993 and sentenced to eighteen years in prison. Throughout his twelve years behind bars - he was paroled in 2005, deported to the West Bank and has subsequently disappeared - he worked tirelessly to recruit his fellow inmates for jihad. …

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