Terror Arrests on the Rise
by Steven Emerson
Interview on CNN
July 29, 2009
Multimedia for this item
CAROL COSTELLO: This morning the Feds are searching an eighth suspect accused of being part of a terror cell in North Carolina. Their alleged ring leader accused of hording weapons and visiting terror camps overseas. This is just one of a string of recent high profile terror arrests here at home. So, just how safe is America from Homegrown Terrorism? Let's bring in an expert, Steven Emerson. He's the Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. He joins us live now from Washington. Good morning.
STEVEN EMERSON: Good morning, Carol.
COSTELLO: So it seems like there are a lot of people here in America alleged homegrown terrorists being indicted for crimes for jihad. How scared should we be?
EMERSON: Well, we're seeing a new phase, Carol, here in the radicalization of American citizens as well as American-born Muslims. In the past six months alone there have been more than 40 arrests of either American-born Muslims or of Americans who converted to Islam and tried to carry out plots either overseas or in the United States. This is indicative of what has happened in Europe over the last 10 years where the environment there and some of the calls by the Islamic groups have radicalized the Muslim population there. We're seeing it here, but more interestingly we are seeing American citizens who convert to Islam and stage operations from the safety of the U.S. overseas in carrying out Jihad.
COSTELLO: I want to talk specifically about Daniel Patrick Boyd, the guy from North Carolina. I mean, he just looked like your average Joe. Neighbors said if he was a terrorist, he's the nicest terrorist we know, he just seemed like such a normal guy yet he supposedly carried on this secret life. From 1989 to 1992 he traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan. What did he do there exactly?
EMERSON: Well in 1989 to 1992 he volunteered against the Soviets who occupied Afghanistan and he volunteered and trained with the Afghan "Mujahideen," the holy warriors, but he kept up and he was interviewed in the Washington Post actually, in 1991 where he called the U.S. a "kafir" or infidel country. He kept up his religious animosity to the United States. Even indoctrinating his own kids willing to send them on suicide operations in Israel and elsewhere aboard to carry out Jihad. So it shows you the extent to which he was radicalized. What's more interesting here is the extent to which there are other cells around the country, Carol, that have been involved in carrying out plots either here in the U.S. or overseas but using the safety of the united States and becoming radicalized here even though they were not radical or not even born Muslim.
COSTELLO: Yeah, I want to get into some of the psychology of this because Daniel Patrick Boyd apparently plotted these alleged terror missions overseas, not here in the United States but then again who knows right? But how does one who lives in America, grows up in the American culture become radicalized like this?
EMERSON: You raised an excellent question and I think part of the answer lies in the fact that once you make a conversion to Islam; and most Muslims are not radical, but once you make a conversion to Islam sometimes the Islamic groups, the national groups that control the distribution of literature, of the media, of the educational system teach them Jihad and teach them that America is the enemy. Just the other day letters from Congress representing seven Islamic radical groups claimed to be mistreated by the U.S. government and they themselves in statements in the last ten years claimed that the U.S. government is the enemy. If you are constantly fed on a diet that the U.S. government is the enemy, that the U.S. government is part of a conspiracy to suppress Islam, you will naturally end up radicalized, hating the U.S. and even willing to carry out violence to advance that goal.
COSTELLO: Scary. Steven Emerson, thanks for joining us this morning.
EMERSON: You're welcome.
Reader comments on this item
We have gone too far
Submitted by Stephen Miller, Jul 29, 2009 19:36
The United States is a melting pot where people from many countries have moved here to have a better life or opportunities that may not have existed in their own countries. If someone comes to our country and does not want to accept the way we live here, let them go back to their own homeland. We do not impose a way of life on citizens of the US and it is wrong for those who come from other areas to impose their way of life on us. We have a democratic process to effect change, not the methods that some groups have professed to make change, i.e Jihad. Freedom of speech has unfortunately become a one way street with many of these extremist groups. They are free to attack our way of life, but if someone attacks them, they are offended and rebel. They use our own laws against us.
WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE
Islam = Sharia = Assault on the US Constitution
Submitted by Civilus Defendus, Jul 29, 2009 19:04
Islam is re-enforced through Sharia Law...
Moderate Islam wants some sharia law.
Radical Islam wants a great deal of sharia law.
Islamists want to enforce sharia law upon others (Muslim or not).
Violent Islamists will destroy people and things to promote 100% sharia for all.
Non-Violent Islamists promote stealth jihad to implement sharia for all.
"Moderate Islam" can morph into any other form of Islam at will, without prior notice.
It must be recognized that any form of sharia in a non-islamic country is a form of cultural warfare, and that it may become geurrilla warfare or open warfare depending upon its strength (population, influence). Sharia is the equivalent of inssurection.
united states not strong enough.
Submitted by claire fleisher, Jul 29, 2009 15:24
I believe that the united states is not strong enough on its position of the muslims that are immigrating to this country, as well as the ones that are "home grown".
Australia has the right idea regarding these people. their position is that this their country, with their rules, and either you live by these rules, or go back to the country that you fled. they cannot use the many freedoms and privileges afforded to australians as a means to destroy that country.
ergo, the united states. this is our country, with our ways, either you follow, or get out. making demands upon american to accept their way of life is not an option, and i see the u.s. becoming weaker and weaker, and not standing up to them,
as a jew, when my ancestors came to this country, with nothing, they used their minds and their bodies to build this amazing country, not destroy it. too back the muslims are not doing the same, and the united states of america is allowing this to happen.