The Two Dangers of Holding Al Qaeda in US Prisons
We are a mere four months away from President Obama’s promised date to close Guantanamo Bay prison, and some are expressing worries. There are two real threats to worry about, however I don’t see preparations going on to forestall either at present.
Al Qaeda and their ugly creed are nothing if they are not persistent in their evil. If they stop then the mask falls off, their justifications and rationalizations are undone, and they are revealed as the sociopathic madmen, murderers, and losers that they are. Since the dangerously defective are true rarities in society, Al Qaeda values every member.
If you look at their membership you will find an assortment of followers; generally sociopathic misfits fueled by anger, dangerous criminals looking for an angle, and quite a few mental deficients. You will also find their leaders, sociopaths as well, but sociopaths who are highly competent at one thing: finding other defectives and personalizing Wahhabi jihad and Takfirism to fit the target’s worldview and situation so they can use them as pawns.
Many of these leaders are concentrated in Gitmo right now, and President Obama’s plans to bring them to US prisons puts them among the population in the US most likely to succumb to their message and leadership. As the current conflicts in Somalia, Sudan, Southern Thailand, Gaza, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan demonstrate, AL Qaeda is expert at exploiting tribal, political, and sectarian conflicts to maximum effect.
Prisons tend to be boiling pots of tribal factionalism. AQ will pick at scabs of any and every faction, exploit and exacerbate all conflicts, and target any other strong leaders in the prisons they are put in to subvert and convert new causes and new recruits.
If and when these evil men are moved to US prisons steps must be taken to ensure that doesn’t occur. Everyone will focus on Nation of Islam since they have strong contingents in the prisons, and are already Islamic, but the AQ leaders are as likely to target Aryan Nation as well. (Before you go to thinking that’s ridiculous keep in mind that Neo Nazi groups have dabbled in every religion and subverted teachings themselves – from Asatru to Hinduism, from Christian Identism, to even odd sorts who think the Aryans are the the true Jews, the lost tribe of Israel.)
This is the long term greater danger of holding Al Qaeda, but there is another that most are focused on, which is why it comes second here.
The second thing to worry about is the high probability of prison break attempts. Al Qaeda is known for these, truly dangerous proponents of radical Islam who are willing to act on it are a small minority of a small minority – so they must try to rescue prisoners. They’ve attempted many prison breaks and succeeded in some. These have occurred everywhere from Afghanistan, to Belgium, to Yemen. They come in two flavors: complex attacks involving multiple truck bombs and vans or cars of gunmen, and subversion through bribery and threat from the inside.
Taking hostages of prison guard families has occurred, and complex attacks have occurred. All of these threats are guarded against in normal prisons, but only in a minor way. There aren’t prisons that can stand up to a complex military attack involving 20 or more Al Qaeda members, multiple truckbombs, and possible insiders, so further steps must be taken to harden the external defenses of any prison that AQ members are placed in before they are moved.
Many more articles on the history of AQ prison breaks can be found at this google search.