Prager: My guest is Steve Emerson. I have had Steve Emerson on for many, many a year. Neither of us exactly wants to note the number of years that is. He's executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. You can sign up for his briefings. So we're talking about what happened here of course in San Bernardino. So you made a very important point is saying the president should have reminded Americans if you see something or if you see someone, as you pointed out that was the original.
Emerson: Remember there was a woman who was interviewed who said, 'I saw people'...
Prager: I know. Forgive me. This is the ultimate. Go ahead. Continue.
Emerson: There was a woman interviewed who said, 'I saw people coming and going in the middle of the night, multiple times, very suspiciously,' and she was tempted to go and talk to the police but she said she didn't want to be accused of racial profiling.
Prager: Yup. That's right.
Emerson: I remember right after 9/11, it happened to people who did contact the local police and they got vilified for doing so. And if you remember the Minneapolis 6, the six imams who boarded a plane and sat in 'suspicious' positions and were overheard by passengers saying some things that they thought was suspect and they were reported and removed from the plane. Well, they then sued the airline and it was made into a big case. That whole entire case – and by the way, many of those imams were in fact activists or supporters of CAIR and every – I'm not saying they were terrorists at all but the way they behaved it sure did seem like they were inviting some type of accusation. Having said, that I'm not saying they were guilty of anything but nevertheless –
Prager: Right, but if you say something and it's wrong then you're a racist. If you don't say anything they may end up with 14 dead people.
Emerson: It demonized the people who said something so much that it has inhibited anyone from going to – [the FBI] – I've spoken to FBI people, I've spoken to law enforcement and they told me about this. And they told me about two things. One is that the leaders of the mosques and the leaders of these organizations have so threatened their own constituents about not going to the FBI and speaking to them that they basically are afraid to speak of it. When they try to recruit a source in a mosque, they have to bend over backwards and do things more covertly than trying to recruit a source in the mafia, as one FBI source told me. Because the leadership basically said if any of you ever become a source and talk to the FBI you will be ostracized, excommunicated as an agent of the Mossad or something. Which is outrageous, they should all be talking to the FBI without any hindrance or accusation.
Prager: Well that's a very interesting point, very important point. Orlando, Fla., Grant has a very interesting question. And forgive me folks, sometimes I summarize questions because of time, but at least you got your idea through. He wants to know, and so do I, at the very moment I didn't understand. Before anything came out essentially, CAIR had called a press conference. That is so unlike them because they're always trying to – in the beginning the president was saying this may well be a workplace violence incident. Why did they do that?
Emerson: Well two things. First of all, two questions. Why did it take so long for us to call it an act of terrorism when the French called the Paris attacks an act of terrorism within two hours of the attack? Yesterday the British – it was yesterday morning when the attacker in Leytonstone, Britain used a knife – they called it an act of terrorism within one hour. There was no problem calling it an act of terrorism. Yet it still took us 48 hours to say it 'maybe an act of terrorism or workplace violence,' okay? And even when James Comey, the FBI director, was going to give a press conference, it was then recalibrated and reset to say well no, he's now going to have a press conference with the Department of Justice Attorney General Loretta Lynch because they needed to babysit him so he wouldn't say anything that went against the president's narrative. But he did say we're investigating this as an act of terrorism and radicalization. But the word Islam was not used and the word radicalization was used as sort of –
Prager: Alright, so why did they call the press conference so quickly?
Emerson: That's a great question. How did CAIR, why did CAIR get involved so quickly? Why did the brother-in-law contact CAIR before contacting the FBI?
Prager: That's another good question. But why did CAIR do the press conference?
Emerson: They wanted to preempt it –
Prager: CAIR was prepared to say it was an act of terror before –
Emerson: No they didn't say that. They wanted to preempt it. No they absolutely not, at that presser that would not say it was an act of terror. First of all they said two things. One, don't blame Muslims –
Prager: Okay, fine. I understand that. Go on.
Emerson: They wanted to preempt any accusation. Two, they wanted to distance themselves saying we're innocent, don't blame all Muslims, don't generalize. Which of course it's never done. Nobody blames all Muslims for terrorist attacks. It's a bogeyman. And number two, they wanted to say don't jump to conclusions. Basically it puts a hesitation on everybody, even us. I must tell you we're all hesitant to jump the gun here. The fact is, I must tell you as of Wednesday night I knew it was an act of Islamic terrorism. It was in my gut but we didn't say it. We waited and waited and waited. So it wasn't until Friday afternoon that they [the U.S. government] finally said, 'we're investigating it as an act of terrorism,' not even Islamic terrorism. But the French, the Brits, they determined it was an act terrorism within an hour. Why aren't we determining that? Because our political correctness. The other thing is the French just closed down four mosques the other day. They found either guns or incendiary material. This is now close to a dozen mosques they've shut down. The BND, which is German intelligence agency, say that the Wahabists in Saudi Arabia are funding thousands of mosques around the world. So does that mean that our mosques are immune from this type of poison, this cancer?
Prager: Alright, let me leave it at that because that's exactly right. Quickly give one of the ways to get your newsletter.
Emerson: Go to www.investigativeproject.org
Prager: Let's leave it at that. www.investigativeproject.org Or wait a minute, easier. Go to my web site, we have it up there. See that? Steve Emerson, thank you. Keep working to keep us safe.
Emerson: You bet. Thank you.