News & Politics

OOOPS! IG Report Says Bureau of Prisons Failed to Keep Track of Terrorist's Communications

Clouds of smoke rise from the burning upper floors just before the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York collapse, 11 September 2001. (Photo by Hubert Boesl/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

This is pretty incredible. A report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz claims that the “Bureau of Prisons did not take appropriate steps to review the mail, email, phone calls, video sessions and cellblock conversations of domestic and international terrorist inmates.”

What the…Whoa.

For example, the bureau failed to flag a letter that a high-risk inmate received from his wife detailing her intent to compromise a staff member at his prison.

The BOP also missed a threatening letter sent to a television talk show host from an inmate pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and threatening violence.

So, the bureaucrats missed a couple of emails. Could happen to anyone, right? Guess again.

Investigators searched inmates’ emails for 32 terms that might indicate a threat. That search turned up more than 7,000 emails, according to the report.

However, a random sampling of 100 emails turned up only eight communications that the inspector general thought warranted further review.

“We found that the BOP had not monitored or only partially monitored thousands of communications of high-risk inmates; … did not review thousands of inmate emails, some of which contained potentially concerning language; and permitted terrorist inmates to communicate with unknown or un-vetted contacts,” Mr. Horowitz wrote.

Haven’t these Bureau of Prisons people ever heard of 9/11?

I’m sure the terrorists are grateful for the lifeline offered by the BOP to other terrorists around the world. And their incompetence apparently extended to visitations, as well.

The monitoring failures were not just limited to written communication, he said.
Staff at a federal prison in New York did not monitor terrorists’ conversations with visitors because poor sound quality left guards unable to hear what was said, according to the report.

The IG’s recommendations are pretty simple: “improving the sound quality in visiting rooms, upgrading the telephone monitoring equipment, establishing consistent standards to review communications, and working with the Justice Department to more accurately identify terrorists.”

And, I might add, getting a good night’s sleep on work nights so you don’t fall asleep while terrorists plan a mass-casualty attack right under your nose.