On January 26, 1993, a young Palestinian man named Abdel Nasser Zaben was arrested and incarcerated in New York City for kidnapping and robbery. Just thirty days later, while he remained locked up, radical Islamic fundamentalists detonated a bomb in the World Trade Center. These two events, connected by common threads, signaled the coming of jihad to America. From the seemingly insulated environment of prison, this same young man, thought to have been merely a common criminal, swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden and began to convert other young minds to the cause. A dangerous terrorist recruitment “cell” had been born. How did it happen?Through the story of Abdel Nasser Zaben’s recruitment efforts in prison,The Fertile Soil of Jihad explores in vivid detail how the American prison subculture fosters terrorism. Dunleavy shows how Zaben carefully and knowingly selected the most likely candidates for conversion to his cause. He reveals how Zaben used his apprentice role in the prison chaplain’s office as a cover for his work and how prison resources were used in the service of terrorism. This book yields invaluable insights for intelligence and corrections professionals as well as informed citizens eager to learn what progress the U.S. government is making in countering terrorism.
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About the Author
Patrick T. Dunleavy, former deputy inspector general of the Criminal Intelligence Unit of the New York State Department of Correctional Services, worked as part of an elite team of investigators for more than twenty-six years, infiltrating criminal enterprises and contract murder conspiracies and negotiating for the release of hostages. He was a key figure in Operation Hades, an investigation that probed the radical Islamic recruitment movement for jihad from both inside and outside prison walls. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.