California’s crowded prisons and jails are ripe for the recruiting of homegrown terrorists and pose a potential threat to the nation’s security, say law enforcement officials and other anti-terrorism experts cited by the Los Angeles Daily News. “California and New York are two states looking at this very aggressively,” said Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and co-author of an pending report on the radicalization of the U.S. jail and prison systems. “We really don’t have all the data we need to be able to put together the full mosaic of this now. And while we have seen some cases, I think it’s fair to say in all likelihood, this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Warren Bamford of the FBI’s counterterrorism division in Los Angeles, said the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is tracking inmates who are making threatening statements. Last year, men who had met at California’s Folsom prison were indicted for their alleged roles in a terrorist plot to attack U.S. military facilities and Jewish synagogues in the Los Angeles area. “That case connected back to the radicalization of inmates where they were going in as bad people and coming out even worse because they had become radicalized Muslims in prison,” said Chris Bertelli of the governor’s Office of Homeland Security.