9/11: Seven Years Later
by Steven Emerson
September 11, 2008
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President Bush remembering 9/11. We've been safe for seven years. That is a real blessing. But what is the terrorist risk assessment today? We welcome back our friend Steve Emerson, NBC news terrorist analyst, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Steve Emerson, thank you for coming back on. You know, seven years safe is a remarkable, remarkable achievement. And I was just thinking, let's see, we've foiled or fended off possible terrorist plots. I'm listing Buffalo, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Miami. You may have others, but I guess I want to ask you, what is the terrorist threat out there, what is the risk assessment, and is America complacent right now?
Larry, that's a great question. Law enforcement has done a great job in preventing, interdicting and stopping scores of terrorist plots since 9/11. Unfortunately, it doesn't resonate with the public because those events don't transpire, so the public doesn't see what could have happened had law enforcement failed. But the real threat, as I see it today, is not coming only from Al Qaeda and radical Islamic groups that are inspired by Al Qaeda, and Britain certainly is most certainly afflicted with this, the airline plot and the 7/11 attacks a couple of years ago, but it comes from radical jihadists that are carrying out a slow jihad best said by Yusuf al Qaradawi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who said "we will conquer America, not by the sword but by dawah," which is conversion, proselytization and the ballot box.
And are they here in the states?
Absolutely. I mean, there have been phenomenal disclosures in the Holy Land case, the Hamas trial, of the Muslim Brotherhood implanting itself here 30 years ago, growing exponentially and secretly carrying an agenda for influencing and infiltrating the U.S. Government and the media. And by the way, they have. The degree of infiltration and subversion of U.S. Government from law enforcement, the FBI, Homeland Security, I.C.E., as well as the Department of Justice and State Department is unprecedented and very alarming.
So do you believe, yourself, from your own investigations, research, conversations, traveling, and whatever, that the new Homeland Security setup that was put into place by the Bush Administration years ago, which certainly has succeeded to the great blessing of this great country, because of CIA, FBI, law enforcement, local law enforcement, coordination, breaking walls down. Are we in a position to stop these potential threats you're describing, this sort of jihadist slow infiltration?
We are terribly equipped to do that, because we don't even want to use the term "Islamic terrorism." Remember that the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department put out a memo earlier this year saying, no official should use the term "Islamic terrorism" or "Islamic militant." You would only use the word extremist. That doesn't even recognize the enemy. If we don't recognize the enemy, how can we win the battle.
Are we in the prisons, these law enforcement and Homeland Security people, are we in the Wahhabi schools that you describe, are we in there? In other words, the publicity public battle, that's one thing. But underneath it all, the kind of things you describe, and I would especially worry about the prisons and these radical schools. Are we in there, are we infiltrating, are we spying, are we wiretapping as we must?
There have been episodic and uncoordinated investigations, but the rampant conversion to radical Islam within the prisons has gone unabated. And the fact is that the Bureau of Prisons imams that are appointed by the federal government, some of them are radical jihadists, they just don't preach violence, they preach the takeover in the United States. And in the schools, like the Islamic academy in Reston, Virgina, Congress, under the committee that has jurisdiction over it, refuses to hold hearings over the fact that it teaches hatred and killings of Jews and Christians.
Steve Emerson, are you yourself surprised that we have gone through seven years of peace? We've foiled a bunch of plots, but right after 9/11 and for the next year or two, and you and I have talked many times about this on the air, most folk, most informed folks, most Americans expected to be hit again. Are you personally surprised that we have fended this off?
I am, frankly. And if you ask people at the end of 2001 if they expected an attack, every law enforcement, intelligence official, and every public official would have had said,"yes, within the next two or three years." They did predict that. We have been doing a great job on that. I must give credit where credit's due. Again, the problem is recognizing the slow jihad, the invisible jihad, the jihad of dawah, which people don't understand. They don't recognize the threat because there's no violence attached to it.
One last one, Steve. Al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden are undoubtedly some place in the wild bad hills of Pakistan. Pakistan is a place with a lot of political trouble. Pakistan a nuclear country as well. What are the risks from that source alone?
Look, they've been able to rejuvenate themselves, reinvigorate themselves and by use of the internet, basically copy cat themselves around the world. No longer to do people have to train by going over to Pakistan or Afghanistan. They can download problems on how to build a bomb, how to build an IED, how to carry out any type of attack on Western targets and they've done that in England and in the United States.
So your best advice to anybody watching, your best advice to anybody is we have to keep our guard up? We cannot rest on our laurels and the terror war and the potential for terrorists to come at us here in the United States is just as strong as ever?
Absolutely. And we have to be willing to recognize the danger for what it is and not hide away from it because of feelings of political correctness or being afraid to antagonize radical Islam.
All right. Steve Emerson, thank you very, very much for coming back on.
Reader comments on this item
Emerson speaks truth
Submitted by Bridget Geegan Blanton, Sep 17, 2008 10:59
The potentially fatal nature of 'political correctness' has tied the hands of Americans behind their backs. The fear of possibly offending some hyper sensitive sensibility has no place in the War On Terror. The total failure of the MSM to deliver this truth to their complacent audience is borderline treasonous. Thank God for the courage and the commitment of Mr. Emerson to this No. 1 issue. It is imperative that terror-busting measures are instituted in the nation's burgeoning prisons. As always, I applaud Mr. Emerson on his work and am thank ful for his tireless efforts on the behalf of this great nation.
The secret threat of Dawa
Submitted by Joe Charlaff, Sep 13, 2008 01:40
Steve Emerson has, as usual, thrown light on something that most people are not aware of. For myself as a journalist who writes about homeland security this was an eye opener. I am familiar with the term "Dawa": but had no idea it was so rampant in the USA.
Great work Steve! I hope the authorities have taken note and are taking action.
Support Steve emerson
Submitted by louis cohen, Sep 12, 2008 13:18
Steve Emerson is a gift to U.S. and world citizenry and deserves the respect and all the support, by word and financially, that we can give him and IPT
Thank Larry Kudlow for having him on.
The clandestine, insidious stategy of DAWAH by the Islamofascists must be publicized and recognized and defeated..