The prison system...
I really hadn't thought much of the prison system as a breeding ground for terrorists.
While the media has obsessed over two high-profile cases in recent months involving improper handling of classified information, communications involving terrorists have been getting translated by people without any security clearances—and there’s been nary a whimper from most of the Washington press corps.
There are 119 inmates in the federal prison system with “specific ties” to international Islamic terrorist organizations, and almost all of them are able to communicate with the outside world through phone calls and letters. (Full disclosure: this journalist broke the story on the front page of the Washington Times two weeks ago.) Not only did the Bureau of Prisons have, until recently, no full-time Arabic translators, but the people they were—and still are—using have undergone no special background check beyond the pro forma one conducted on all federal employees.
To put it simply, the communications of 119 convicted and suspected terrorists housed in federal prisons are being handled by people who have no security clearances. They haven’t been put through a polygraph test, had their family histories thoroughly vetted, their character analyzed, or their neighbors interviewed—all basic elements of investigations required before granting someone security clearances.