AT had a chance to catch up with Steven Emerson, head of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, and hear his assessment of the ISIS threat here on American soil. Emerson runs the country's top data center on Islamic terror groups in the United States, working like a man possessed, and accomplishing the work of thousands on sheer guts and determination to protect our country.
Wherever the bad guys have been caught and prosecuted successfully, you will find Emerson working quietly behind the scenes as an invaluable ally of the FBI and Homeland Security. Because he accepts no money from the government, Emerson has been free of the diktats of the Obama administration that have forbidden the FBI to train their sights on Muslim terrorists. (That means The Investigative Project needs your help to continue its work.)
In the words of U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra, Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence:
The Investigative Project on Terrorism is critical to our nation's security. There is no other non-governmental group that has better intelligence or data on the threat to the United States and our allies. Making do with a bare bones budget, the IPT is a national treasure whose influence and achievements are unparalleled.
It is not an exaggeration to say that because of Democrat political correctness hamstringing our FBI agents, they could not combat the Islamists in our midst without Steven Emerson. Oliver "Buck" Revell, former head of FBI Investigations and Counter-Terrorism, said as much in these words: "The Investigative Project has been one of the most important sources of accurate and timely information on the real goals and objectives of the wide spread and powerful Islamist movement."
The FBI turns to Emerson to find out what is happening. So does AT. This is what Emerson told us:
Isis is Al Qaeda 3.0. They are already in the United States and the only reason there has not been a terror attack is that they have not decided to do it yet.
The chief danger Steven Emerson sees is that there are three to four hundred ISIS killers in Syria and Iraq with American passports, who can return whenever they want, and the Obama administration is blocking the FBI from monitoring them in mosques. As Emerson told Judge Jeannine Pirro on Fox News:
The FBI has been handcuffed in terms of investigating religious extremists in mosques, as a result of guidelines put out by the attorney general earlier this year. And so therefore, there is… a definite problem now in investigating those militants in the United States who are either recruiting for ISIS or have returned from Syria or Iraq having fought for ISIS, and are ready to carry out freelance or directed terrorist attacks on behalf of ISIS against the United States…
the Department of Justice [which] put out guidelines that restricted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies from using religious factors in identifying threats, national security threats to the United States in the homeland.
…we're seeing ISIS recruiting biophysicists, engineers, social media types, people who have expertise in really carrying out sophisticated terrorist attacks coming back to the United States.
there's one recruiter that [had been]... picked up [in the past], well identified, in Bloomington, Minnesota at the Al Farooq Mosque. There are recruiters going around the country in other mosques, where they identify potential volunteers. They test them out to see if they're willing to die on behalf of martyrdom of the cause for Allah. Then they give them cash, they provide money for their families in case they die. They give them tickets to go to Turkey. Turkey has allowed them, hundreds, to go through to Syria, then to Iraq. And we [the U.S.] count Turkey as one of our top allies. We haven't put [many of] them on the terrorism watch list, which we should. So there's a major disconnect, Judge, here between what we should be doing to protect the homeland and protect American citizens.
Question for our Congress: Obama will do nothing to revoke the passports of American ISIS maniacs. What are you doing about it?