WASHINGTON - The head of Islamic chaplains in the New York City Department of Correction said in a recent speech that the "greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House," Jews control the media, and Muslims are being tortured in Manhattan jails.
The outlandish remarks were made by one of the city's most prominent Islamic leaders, Imam Umar Abdul-Jalil, the executive director of ministerial services for the city Department of Correction. He spoke at a conference of Islamic leaders in Tucson, Ariz., and was secretly recorded by the counterterrorism organization The Investigative Project.
The recordings capture Abdul-Jalil - speaking at two separate symposiums on Islam in America held by the Muslim Students Association on April 15 and 16 last year - making incendiary charges and espousing extremist views.
Abdul-Jalil, 56, who is also imam of the Masjid Sabur mosque in Harlem, initially denied making the comments - but later admitted to The Post that the tape was most likely accurate and said his words are being "taken out of context."
At one conference session, Abdul-Jalil charged that Muslims jailed after the 9/11 attacks were being tortured in Manhattan, according to the tape.
"They [some Muslim inmates] are not charged with anything, they are not entitled to any rights, they are interrogated. Some of them are literally tortured and we found this in the Metropolitan Correctional Facility in Manhattan. But they literally are torturing people," Abdul-Jalil said.
Abdul-Jalil also accused the Bush administration of being terrorists, according to the tape.
"We have terrorists defining who a terrorist is, but because they have the weight of legitimacy, they get away with it . . . We know that the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House, without a doubt," he said.
At another session, Abdul-Jalil urged American Muslims to stop allowing "the Zionists of the media to dictate what Islam is to us" and said Muslims must be "compassionate with each other" and "hard against the kufr [unbeliever]."
Abdul-Jalil, a Bronx resident who said he converted to Islam while at Attica prison in 1970, participated in interfaith reconciliation efforts after 9/11. He recently took part in an educational ceremony with Gov. Pataki on Martin Luther King Day.
"His comments betray an effort to instill hatred of the United States as the enemy of Islam by making a series of false allegations portraying the U.S. as an evil country," said anti-terror expert Steve Emerson, director of The Investigative Project.
"This is a man who is supposed to be spreading words of reconciliation and moderation as head Islamic chaplain - not inciting followers to believe that the U.S. government and 'Zionists' are plotting a conspiracy of persecution against Muslims," Emerson added.
In two telephone interviews with The Post while ministering to inmates of Rikers Island yesterday, Abdul-Jalil insisted that he was not promoting extremism.
He said he was "offended, as an African-American, that someone would have the audacity to question my citizenship" and love of his country.
Abdul-Jalil is the latest Muslim chaplain working for city and state agencies to come under fire.
Last year, the city Fire Department forced Imam Intikab Habib to resign as chaplain for publicly doubting that al Qaeda hijackers brought down the World Trade Center towers and suggesting there was a broader "conspiracy."
Three years ago, Pataki fired Imam Warith Deen Umar, the former chief Muslim chaplain for the state prison system, after it was reported he was expressing support for the 9/11 terrorists.