Male: The views and opinions expressed on the following program are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily represent those of any organization, including One Generation Away.
Female: The freedom of a people to choose its leaders is the root of liberty.
[Show introduction with various quotes about liberty by famous people.]
Tim Donner: And welcome back into Liberty Nation. Today we'll examine just how serious the threat of terrorism has become, in the wake of Brussels, San Bernardino, Paris, Boston and many other jihadist attacks on the Western world. We'll be joined by Steve Emerson, foremost expert on terrorism. In our Say What segment, we'll dissect an awfully bad week for Donald Trump, as the candidates prepare for Tuesday's contest in Wisconsin. We'll discuss the much-vilified brand of politics Trump has personified –populism – past, present and future, with John Samples of the Cato Institute. And we'll examine trending topics and underreported stories affecting your liberty with Scott Cosenza, constitutional lawyer from One Generation Away on the web at onegen.org, that's onegen.org. But with the rise of ISIS, from what Barack Obama once called the JV team, to a sophisticated jihadist organization controlling territory in nine countries and masterminding or inspiring a growing number of attacks on the West, how serious a threat is ISIS? And what about the other jihadist organizations – Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hamas, Hezbollah and others? Joining us now is the renowned Steve Emerson, the Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Welcome, Steve.
Steve Emerson: Good to be with you.
Donner: Well thanks so much. You know the president by his actions or non-actions, in response to the attacks on Brussels, seems to believe ISIS is not nearly the threat that many think they are, though we have degraded them somewhat. So just how big a threat is ISIS inside the United States? Does it rise to the level of an existential threat? And how big a threat to Europe is it?
Emerson: Well it's certainly a major threat to Europe. And let me give you the irony here, even though we are, and I will give the president credit, we are degrading, although it's largely with Iranian and Russian warplanes that are degrading ISIS, it's not American planes, we're only launching around 22 sorties a day, while the Russians are launching about 150, but we are taking away territory. The obverse, of what is happening on the other side, is that they [ISIS] are developing a virtual state of, what can I say – safe houses, within Europe, that they can strike with abandon, largely because they've been coming in with millions of refugees that are largely unvetted, and they are unvettable. And to that extent, to the extent that the president stated two days ago that he wants to bring in 100,000 Syrian refugees, and you know we'll all very you know tugged at the heartstrings that [we] know refugees who want to escape war-torn conflicts. [But] the fact of the matter is ISIS, one – has stated that it will definitely infiltrate hundreds of terrorists within the refugees; and two – DHS and ICE employees, ICE being Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who are entrusted with vetting the refugees, say they have absolutely no way of vetting these refugees; and three – we just found out that ISIS itself in Raqqa, a [diplomatic consular] city that was manufacturing passports under the old Damascus regime, has [ever since it conquered Raqqa in January 2014] manufactured ...[up to] 100,000 ISIS passports in the last two years and put them in the refugee population, some of whom are now in the United States. Is this a danger? Well you tell me.
Donner: Yeah, it's what you call a rhetorical question to some degree. But you know, Steve, to me as a civilian, the most frightening thing about the Paris attack in particular in Brussels was the low-tech nature of it. The perpetrators used homemade weapons that almost anyone can assemble with parts almost anyone can get access to. Is low-tech jihad a bigger, smaller, or equal threat to attacks with more sophisticated and advanced weapons?
Emerson: Low-tech weapons and low-tech attacks have largely been the predominance of 90 percent, 95 percent of all jihadist attacks since 9/11. Look, using the, you know in 9/11, using four you know large jumbo airliners to crash into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon is, I hate to say, is a low-tech explosive you know combination. Same way with all the other attacks, Nidal Hasan shooting 18 people at Fort Hood, you know San Bernardino. There are only a couple of attempts that have attempted, that have involved say WMD, but they have been unsophisticated, such as El-Shukrijumah [but correct me if I am wrong] wanted to use radio isotopes that he obtained from chemical [ and from medical]... laboratories... . Really no, we have not seen an effort to acquire a nuclear, a loose nuke, or some other type of weapon of mass destruction. But look, look at the 130 people killed in Paris. I mean you know [to define] the question is what constitutes an existential threat. That's certainly not going to bring down the regime of France, but on the other hand, it has an amazing way of destabilizing the entire country. I mean people are afraid to go out. Look at Israel, Israel is being besieged by hundreds of Palestinian terrorists, who strike at will any Israeli that walks in the streets. You're playing Russian roulette with your life. OK? It's not an existential threat, but it takes away the entire quality of life, it reduces tourism, it reduces the economy. And then look upon the, on the other obverse, on the north, where there are 150,000 1.5-mega-ton missiles that Iran supplied to Hezbollah, all within the reach of Israel.
Donner: Steve Emerson, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, let's talk Europe. Was Angela Merkel inviting a million Muslim refugees into Germany, and the crimes resulting from that, a mistake from which that country won't be able to recover? Is it too late already for Europe?
Emerson: It's too late. I said this last year, even before these crimes associated. Look, the number of refugees, and I don't want to be racist, because let's just say, and I do believe that the vast majority [ of Muslims] are not terrorists and they're not jihadists, but you have a critical mass maybe of 5 or 10 percent [who support violent jihad]. And you [also] have no-go zones, which people don't want to admit [exist] but that's exactly what happened in Brussels, where the leader, the mastermind of the Paris attacks hid out for four months in the same house that he ... basically [grew up in] without anyone telling on him, largely because that area of Brussels, Molenbeek, was an area that law enforcement refused to go in for fear of their lives. So the fact of the matter is that there is a major problem in Europe that they're not facing up to. And is Europe finished? Well look at the [ future] growth [rates in these countries], look at the growth predictions of Muslim populations in Europe – in France, in Italy, in Germany, in Sweden, when you see 5, 6, 7 percent [growth projected] per year, and then you see the negative indigenous growth in Italy or in Germany. And then you project forward, you extrapolate 30 years from now, and you see Germany becoming a Muslim country in the year 2045.
Donner: Steve Emerson, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.