IPT News, Dec. 5, 2014:
Lilley: Tonight’s top story: A 15-year-old boy in Quebec could be the first minor to face terrorism related charges in Canada. The 15-year-old robbed a convenience store at knifepoint. He was allegedly planning to use the money to leave the country for overseas terrorist activities. Steven Emerson is with the Investigative Project on Terrorism. He joins us now from Washington. Steven, you and I have been tracking these stories of young men, mostly young men, but also some young women, going over to join the jihadist movement. This is the youngest that I’ve heard, at 15, and kudos to the boy’s father for ratting him out to police and saying, ‘This is what my son did.’
Emerson: Yeah, kudos to the father, because usually the parents are quiet. This happened recently in Denver, where there were 16-year-old girls that volunteered to and actually flew over to Syria to volunteer for ISIS. And I think they were actually ratted out by their parents. So you know good for the parents for doing that, because that’s really one of the only ways they’re going to be found out. Unfortunately, it also represents the fact that youth, there is a youth culture that is really attracted to this radical Islamic culture that believes in defeating and destroying the West and that’s rampant throughout Europe and throughout the United States and Canada.
Lilley: Now I know that with the whole Edward Snowden issue that started you know what, a year or two ago, that a lot of people are understandably worried about government snooping on social media, on emails. But here we have after the fact this young man finding out that he had Facebook interactions with Ahmad Rouleau, the terrorist that ran down the two, well one in uniform, one not, the two soldiers in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu back in October. So this radicalization is once again happening online, and then the actions flow from there. Police don’t seem to be able to get a leg up to know where the actions are coming until after they’ve happened.
Emerson: Well yes and no. And sometimes the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] and [other] police [agencies] do have indications on social media about what’s going on, as the FBI did with in the case with the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, but they were unable to do anything because the laws didn’t permit them to act proactively just because they were expressing radical ideas on social media. So [they were prevented from acting because of a …] prohibition against proactive criminal treatment against those that they believe would act aggressively and violently. And in the end you know the pendulum swings both ways. When the Snowden disclosures happened, everyone said ah, it’s an invasion of privacy; now people are saying why aren’t they looking at social media, because that would be an indication of what the intent would be. The guy who you know almost decapitated the Canadian government that was known ahead of time by the Canadian intelligence, this guy was a known jihadist. Why wasn’t he stopped and picked up?
Lilley: They viewed him as a low level threat at that point is what they’ve told us. He was not on, not even on their travelers alert, as we’ve been led to believe originally. Let me ask you about this, so the ISIS theology continues to spread. They continue to get new fighters all the time. We’re not making a big dent on them. I mean they’ve apparently just taken another military base. They continue to gain ground here and there. Is this a losing fight that we’re engaged in with what is essentially an idea, as opposed to a standing army?
Emerson: Well I would tell you this, that I believe that we’re mistaken in basically saying that this is the rise of new radical Islam. This is the old radical Islam. This is Al-Qaeda, this is Hamas, this is Boco Haram, this is Al-Shabab, this is not [new], they’re all from the same tree. When we try to make, when we try to distinguish [each one] from all of these [other] movements, when we make Hamas a political movement and we treat them differently than we treat Boku Haram, […when] we treat Boku Haram differently than we treat ISIS, than we treat Al-Qaeda, we’re making such a horrible mistake, because we’re basically cutting our own faces, we’re cutting our own necks. The fact of the matter is it’s all radical Islam, and they’re all connected by the same one fundamental fact – that they’re at war with the West, they believe the West should be defeated, should be destroyed, and that they should be supreme, they should rule the West. That’s the number one [common] factor. And they will do anything they can, violently or they will use the system [ to further their goal]. Either way, that’s their agenda. And we have to understand that’s the Muslim Brotherhood agenda. The Muslim Brotherhood agenda, Brian, is the parent of all of these groups.
Lilley: Yet we’ve got the Muslim Brotherhood operating in Canada and the United States. You’re telling me though today though that Interpol, is it Interpol, has released an arrest warrant for the head of the Muslim Brotherhood internationally?
Emerson: This is amazing actually because it goes back to what the United Arab Emirates did a week and a half ago. They issued a list of 85 Muslim Brotherhood groups that they designated as terrorists, not just groups that said were [terrorist groups but others] that were front groups, including those in the United States and in Canada and in Europe. This is far beyond what the United States has done, which only two days ago said that the Muslim Brotherhood was non-violent for the last 30 years, even though we have released an article on our website today showing that the Muslim Brotherhood just this year called for armed resistance and terrorism against the Israelis and against Americans. The fact of the matter is the United Arab Emirates and the Saudis are much more aggressive and much more forthcoming in acknowledging and being proactive against the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a terrorist group, and against the spiritual leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who they lodged a criminal complaint and induced Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for incitement to murder, and that was just issued several hours ago.
Lilley: Alright Steven, great talking to you as always, always informative. And you can check out the Investigative Project for more.