ERIC BOLLING: Joining us now from Washington, Steve Emerson, a terrorist investigator who's closely following the case. Steve, thanks for joining us. What's the latest? I mean, we keep hearing that the cracks, but the cracks seem to be so wide. If this guy can fall through the cracks, couldn't anyone?
STEVE EMERSON: These are crevices the size of giant grand canyons, catastrophic failure in terms of the failure of U.S. counterterrorism policy. One, the father who warned the U.S. embassy in Nigeria that his son was involved in radical Islamic activities. We didn't take that into account when we renewed his multiple entry visa. The Brits, however, revoked his visa. One thing we didn't know. Number two, when he got to the airport, he purchased his ticket with cash. He didn't have any checked baggage. Why didn't that trigger something? Number three, this guy was on a terrorist watchlist. But apparently that watchlist doesn't mean anything. So we're talking about an entire failure of a system from A to Z. And it's not going to be fixed by simply reapportioning a watch list or having a presidential statement saying we're going to track them down. It's going to be found because we have a policy that goes after radical Islamic terrorists. And it has to be articulated as such by a president who so far has been unwilling to utter the term radical Islam.
BOLLING: Now Steve, we heard that the Al Qaeda from the Arabian peninsulas claiming responsibility. Weren't we expecting someone to claim responsibility anyway? Did they, in fact, have some sort of tie to this terrorist?
EMERSON: Well, they claim responsibility. The question is we still have to determine when the ticket was actually purchased, because if it was purchased before that raid on the 22nd in Yemen by Yemeni forces against an Al Qaeda training camp, then this claimed responsibility is really sort of superfluous. But let's take them at their word. Let's say they were responsible, because Yemen is now a center of gravity for Al Qaeda. There's no doubt about that. What do we do about that? Are we going to go in and bomb these camps? Are we going to go in and track them down? Are we going to go in and start being serious about radical Islamic terrorists around the world and even in this country?
Look, my sources tell me that even in the past several months, the Justice Department has refused to issue certain charges against radical Islamic extremists on terrorist charges for fear of being accused of profiling. That's ridiculous. I mean, the terrorists would able to get away with murder like this. So I think we've got to change our policies regarding Islamic terrorism first and foremost. Then we can change the other policies.
BOLLING: Steve, Mr. Abdulmutallab said there are several others waiting. Some young people, I guess, in London, who also may be interested in carrying out a terrorist attack on the United States. Should we take those threats as credible?
EMERSON: I think we should. Look, last I think, September, there was an American Muslim convert, who came back from Yemen after studying there. And he shot up a Little Rock, Arkansas recruiting station for the National Guard. He killed one person. I have been told that there are literally scores, if not hundreds of Americans studying at these radical Islamic madrassas like there are British Muslim students studying. And who are therefore potentially being recruited to carry out terrorist attacks. The special forces report that you just cited should be taken at its face value that there are radical Muslim British students studying in Yemen, who have been recruited and will be carrying out attempted acts of terrorism.
EMERSON: The only question is when, not if.
BOLLING: Right, I agree with you there, Steve. Steve Emerson, thank you very much from Washington.