24-year-old Derrick Shareef was sentenced yesterday to 35 years in prison for planning a terrorist attack on a Chicago mall using hand grenades two years ago. At sentencing, Shareef declared that he no longer believes in violent jihad and has "adopted more positive Muslim beliefs." What these positive beliefs are should be a central concern to the Metropolitan Correctional Center since his attorney cited his rise as the Imam of the Muslim population while interred there.
In 2005, then FBI Director Robert Mueller stated, "Prisons continue to be fertile ground for extremists who exploit both a prisoner's conversion to Islam while still in prison, as well as their socio-economic status and placement in the community upon their release."
As an Imam, Shareef is technically taking on the role of a Chaplain, though it does not seem likely that he applied for such a position given its requirements, including but not limited to a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent and at least two years of "autonomous experience…in a parish or specialized ministry setting." Shareef was arrested at 22.
Indoctrination by Islamists in prisons is a real threat to democracy and remains a prime example of lawful jihad in America.
See the full 2008 Report on "Black America, Prisons, And Radical Islam."