Authorities investigating a radical Islamist prison gang linked to an alleged terrorist plot in Southern California believe that the group may have only a dozen hard-core followers within the California correctional system, says the Los Angeles Times. Officials want to make sure that dozens of other prisoners and parolees are not aligned with Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh (JIS), given the FBI’s growing concern that disaffected inmates drawn to radical Islam could become a source of terrorist activity across the nation.
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles last week indicted four men, including a state prisoner in Folsom who is believed to have founded JIS, on charges that they were conspiring over months to attack U.S. military facilities, synagogues, and other sites. Overall, California’s correctional system, with about 165,000 felons, is home to seven major prison-based gangs and 1,100 other groups viewed as “disruptive” enough to be of concern. Islam has become a powerful force in America’s correctional system, with estimates that 10% to 20% of the inmate population are Muslim.