Reports that at least two of the four men charged with the attempt to bomb two Riverdale synagogues had become radical Muslims while in prison has refocused attention on this problem.
"I hope this will cause an impetus for change – to see how recruitment is accomplished in prison and what needs to be done in the future," said Yehudit Barsky, director of the American Jewish Committee's division on the Middle East and international terrorism.
She said that since 9/11 there have been congressional hearings and reports on the recruitment of potential terrorists from among prison populations.
In 2004, the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Justice Department expressed concern that federal prisons might become recruiting grounds for militant groups.
Two years later, a report by George Washington University and the University of Virginia warned flatly that American prisons had become a major breeding ground for Islamic terrorists.