A story appearing today in LU’s Web Crawler hints at a growing problem in the nation that is receiving little attention from lawmakers or journalists. The story focuses on one Ali Muhammad Brown who will be sentenced today for the murder in 2014 of a teenager from West Orange, N.J.
According to prosecutors at Brown’s trial, 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin was driving through West Orange on his way to his family’s home in nearby Livingston when Brown and two other men jumped from the car in which they had been tailing Tevlin, surrounded him, and opened fire.
Brown shot through the passenger-side window, hitting the driver ten times. The men then drove Tevlin’s car to an apartment complex in West Orange with the teen in the truck and stole some of his belongings.
This wasn’t Brown’s first brush with the law. From early 2002 to late 2004, he and three accomplices defrauded several major banks out of large sums of money. In 2014 while living in Seattle, Brown killed three men execution-style.
As unspeakable as his crimes are, the motive behind them is even more grotesque. Brown, a Muslim, told police upon his capture in 2014:
My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day … [in] Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, all these places where innocent lives are being taken every single day. … So, a life for a life.
Brown is one of an estimated 350,000 men, who according to the FBI, have fallen victim to the prison-to-terror pipeline. Like the school-to-prison pipeline that liberals are so fond of talking about, the prison-to-terror pipeline affects predominantly black males. Unlike the school-to-prison pipeline, the prison-to-terror pipeline occurs not because of an allegedly excessive use of discipline in the classroom but because of a pernicious influence inside the prison walls.
That influence is militant Islam. According to scholar and writer J. Michael Waller, 80% of the prisoners who “find religion” while in prison convert to Islam. The vast majority are black, though a Hispanic minority is growing. Waller further submits that many converts are radicalized by outside Islamist groups linked to terrorism, which completes the process by which Brown became the ruthless killer he is today.
In a statement during his murder trial, Brown said, “The mistake that I made is I thought I was fighting jihad.” He may have been affecting remorse in the hopes of somehow lightening his sentence. But if he was sincere, more’s the pity that our politicians aren’t more concerned with getting Brown’s message out.