Based at a Muslim chapel at MCI Norfolk prison in Massachusetts, a group of six convicts are being disciplined for listening to recordings of the speeches of a radical Muslim preacher and Al-Qaeda recruiter, Anwar al-Awlaki. Awlaki was a U.S. citizen who was killed in Yemen in a 2011 drone strike ordered by President Barack Obama. 
 
According to a Massachusetts Department of Corrections statement, “It was determined that the ‘jihad’ that was being preached was in the context of personal spiritual struggle with regard to oneself, as opposed to a war against non-believers” a Department of Corrections statement said. The statement claimed that there is “no evidence that their unauthorized activities were being used as a recruiting tool for any extremist ideology.”
 
The inmates had established a “structure of power” with prison walls, demanding contracts of allegiance from fellow inmates and the wearing of uniforms. The gang was based out of the prison’s Muslim chapel. The six men are being subjected to discipline, not for radical recruitment, but for forming a gang. Federal authorities have been alerted.
 
Fox News 25 interviewed Prof. Martin Horn of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice who “What better place to look for recruits than within a prison.”

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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