Clip from 60 Minutes: Ultimately an American citizen unless the passport is revoked is entitled to come back. So if someone who has fought with ISIL with an American passport wants to come back, we'll track them very carefully.
Judge Jeanine: That's FBI director Jim Comey saying they'll track any Americans returning here after fighting alongside ISIS. Really, track them, that's it? Why are these guys even allowed back into the country? With me now founder of the Investigative Project, Steve Emerson, and National Review columnist Tom Rogan. Good evening gentlemen. You know Tom, Prime Minister Cameron faced with the same issue on the return of ISIS fighters returning to the UK is trying to actually prevent them from coming in. How is he trying to do this?
Tom Rogan: Yes, thank you for having me on, Judge. He's doing a number of things and all of that flows from the fact that British intelligence are incredibly concerned about the threat that the Islamic State poses to the UK mainland. But one of the main things he is doing is trying to pass a law in Parliament that would actually allow the British government to refuse entry to people coming back in, sort of extension perhaps of being denied British citizenship and nationality, and sending the message that if you go and fight with the Islamic State which because of David Haines and Alan Henning is a clear enemy of the United Kingdom, then you will face the consequences for action. So it is a much tougher line than perhaps we've seen from the US Government.
Judge Jeanine: Well certainly, and Steve, I am sure you can speak to that. But Steve what we're seeing is, and what you're investigating, is the uptick in terms of the recruitment by ISIS in Western Europe as well as the United States.
Steve Emerson: Judge, there has been a tremendous uptick in recruitment. In the last month alone intelligence estimates say up to more than 5,000 volunteers have come from Europe alone and several hundred from the United States. And the notion that we can track them when they come back to the United States I think is somewhat questionable since it takes about 24 agents just to track one person for a 24 hour period nonstop. Number two, I think our policy on the issue of radical Islam is really screwed up here. Here you have a president at the UN praises a radical sheikh who says he's opposed to ISIS but issues a fatwa calling for killing of American soldiers. You have the President basically sending a welcome message to the Oklahoma mosque which produced that crazy Islamist who beheaded, Mr. Nolen, who beheaded his co-worker and who had on his Facebook page photos praising bin Laden, praising 9/11, and even a picture of somebody being beheaded. So I think our own policies [ are actually constraining us], including that the fact that the Attorney General has prohibited the FBI from using religious criteria from investigating Islamists. I think right now, Judge, we have a [counter-terrorism] policy that doesn't exist.
Judge Jeanine: Steve you may not know, Tom was nodding his head while you were speaking. Tom, one of the things that Steve is referencing is the fact that by our not identifying certain things as terrorism and calling things work place violence, the United States and the Department of Justice is almost tying the hands of our investigators. What is the perception from Britain as to how we're approaching this in the United States? We're both facing the same disaster.
Rogan: The British government is reluctant to criticize the US government. But there is certainly much greater concern in the UK and frankly I think that should be a great are concern here because the simple fact is the Islamic State have learned from their predecessor, al Qaeda in Iraq. They know to stay off of the internet and they know to actually come back and not engage in some of the open extremist activities that previous terrorists had done before. So they can actually stay, bide their time and then move toward an attack. And that makes it very, very difficult for intelligence services – the NSA and the British equivalent GCHQ - to be able to develop the kind of intelligence picture, the same monitoring that Steve is talking about, large teams of officers. MI5 is stretched to the brink. That's why you see David Cameron so concerned about preventing people coming back, because frankly MI5 officers are telling him we do not have the capacity physically to monitor these people.
Judge Jeanine: What is interesting Tom, I have an article here that says terrorist chatter raises the threat level for UK police, and that it's been raised there from moderate to substantial. What can we do here, Steve, given the constraints that we have and reluctance to even identify things as work place violence? We've got this guy Nidal Hasan who writes the Pope who says I am a terrorist. What can we do?
Emerson: First of all we have to reverse the damage done by the Attorney General.
Judge Jeanine: How?
Emerson: First of all stop the purge that was done two years ago in the FBI of all material that was considered to be 'offensive against Islam' that stripped the FBI of thousands and thousands of books, pamphlets and power points of anything that dealt with radical Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood. That [material] has to be restored. Number two, the training of FBI informants, that budget was slashed in half under the Attorney General. Number three, there has to be a policy decision that recognizes the Muslim Brotherhood, these other [Islamist] groups, are just as much a threat to the United States and to our way of life as ISIS is. And if we don't recognize that Judge, we're gonna be doomed.
Judge Jeanine: I couldn't agree with you more. Steve, Tom, thank you so much for being with us this evening.
Rogan: Thank you, Judge.