LAURA INGRAHAM: In the "Factor Investigation" segment tonight, this weekend in suburban Chicago, a radical Islamic group is coming out of the shadows to host a conference called "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam." Well, the group reportedly has ties to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and al-Zarqawi, the former al Qaeda leader in Iraq.
And with us now to give us an update on this is Steve Emerson. He is a terrorism expert and executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
And, Steve, first of all, good to see you, our usual Friday night engagement. Now, I started reading about this and I thought myself, well, how is it that a group whose goal is to indoctrinate people on jihadism is, you know, just -- apparently people are coming in from all over the place for this conference and, you know, no big deal.
I mean, what is this about?
STEVE EMERSON: Well, it's actually worse than just indoctrinating them. I mean, we have tapes from the 1994 Wembley Arena conference in London where 40,000 jihadists were yelling "death to democracy," calling for jihad and the caliphate to rule Islam-- to rule not just the Islamic world, but the world.
This is their message. This is their belief system. Now the question is, is it illegal? No.
EMERSON: Unless they advocate particular violence that leads to violence, otherwise it's going to be a free speech issue, and.
EMERSON: . there will be some "people" there watching what they are doing.
INGRAHAM: Now the group is called Hizb u-Tahrir, is that.
EMERSON: Hizb u-Tahrir, which is really the "Islamic Liberation Party." It was started in Jordan in the 1950s, and their graduates are pretty illustrious, as you just pointed out, one of them is Zarqawi, another on is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, among many other graduates of al Qaeda.
Now they believe in violence, period.
INGRAHAM: They don't do physical training -- I mean, there do you.
EMERSON: Well, no, but---
INGRAHAM: They are more indoctrination, of getting you in the mindset or no?
EMERSON: They do physical training over in the Middle East. They don't do physical training in the West as far as we know. However, our investigation showed that in the 1990s they actually had a cell, interestingly enough, called "Khaliphornia ," as a play on the caliphate, OK?
INGRAHAM: Yes, very funny.
EMERSON: And then they had a cell in Washington, D.C., back in 2002- 2003. It never really took off like it has in London, where it is the largest base of Hizb u-Tahrir, or Islamic Liberation supporters in the world.
INGRAHAM: Now some countries have banned this group.
INGRAHAM: Germany has banned it, Russia, some Arab countries even have banned it?
EMERSON: Oh, absolutely. That is why they relocated to the West. Britain was very, very welcome for them.
INGRAHAM: Welcome mat.
EMERSON: Yes, and now they're paying the price.
INGRAHAM: Sanctuary country.
EMERSON: Well, that is why Britain has the largest concentration of Islamic terrorists in the [Western] world.
INGRAHAM: Now, this is at one conference, and I know there was a recent conference, the American Library Association sponsored a conference where something interesting happened. Tell me about that.
EMERSON: Yes. This was a very interesting point. The American Library Association, supposedly the bedrock of the First Amendment, they invited Robert Spencer, who is the author [of many books on Islam and a blog called---
INGRAHAM: Jihad Watch.
EMERSON: . of Jihad Watch, and a respected author about radical Islam, not just the mainstream Islam. And they also invited other, quote, "Islamic scholars."
EMERSON: Well, CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas front, pressured the three other speakers to withdraw from the panel.
INGRAHAM: They shut down debate. We don't want to hear from Spencer. We don't want to hear from anyone who questions Jihad.
EMERSON: Then ALA, instead of allowing the debate to go on, or at least inviting others to participate -- to substitute for the ones that withdrew, in order to -- because they wanted to shut it down, instead they cancelled the entire debate.
And the National Endowment for the Humanities paid a $1.5 million for this conference.
INGRAHAM: Now didn't Valerie Jarrett speak at one of these.
EMERSON: Valerie Jarrett was the keynote speaker at [different radical Islamic conference].
INGRAHAM: Obama administration senior adviser.
EMERSON: Right. At the Islamic Society of North America, which was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas case [held over the July 4 weekend, a Muslim Brotherhood group.]
INGRAHAM: That's a different conference. We're keeping these all -- there are three different events that we're talking about that the Obama administration actually sent Valerie Jarrett to address the North American group.
EMERSON: [She was] the highest-ranking administration official ever to speak before a Muslim Brotherhood group, at the very same time there was a speaker there calling the Jews deservedly recipients of the Holocaust because they disobeyed Allah, talking about "The Protocols of the Elders of Zions"...
INGRAHAM: Wait a minute, an Obama administration official spoke? That sentiment was expressed?
INGRAHAM: Well, who has been covering this? I mean, I've talked about it on my radio show, but has this gotten any much coverage?
EMERSON: It hasn't that coverage. The Washington Post, The New York Times have totally ignored because freedom of the press belongs to those who own it, as you know.
EMERSON : And the reality what we're seeing now is the integration and the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood groups in mainstream organizations and in the administration.
INGRAHAM: Steve Emerson, thank you for this update. It is -- I can't believe -- sometimes I can't believe what I'm hearing, but it's coming from you.