The Terrorist Attack in Australia: Coming to a Theater Near You

by Steven Emerson
IPT News
December 15, 2014

1102This article originally was published by Foxnews.com.

The violent conclusion to the Australian hostage taking terrorist siege was inevitable. The terrorist  was killed as the Sydney police swat team stormed the café. Even though two hostages were killed, the Sydney police had no choice but to act. After a siege lasting nearly 17 hours, police had good reason to believe that the self-anointed “Sheik” Haron Monis was going to make good on his threat to detonate the bombs he claimed to have unless his demands were met.

There had been an open line between a police hostage negotiator with the terrorist for much of that time but with up to 10 hostages remaining captive, it was feared that the terrorist was going to become a suicide bomber and thus kill everyone in the café. The Sydney police are now involved in investigating and reconstructing the time line of entire incident. But there is no doubt that the Australian police saved the lives of many more hostages.

There should be no doubt that this was a pure act of Islamic terrorism despite ludicrous assertions by some commentators that his “motivations” were unknown. We will see all sorts of “explanations” that because his rap sheet included indictments for sexual assault and murder, he was not really an Islamic terrorist but someone who was simply mentally unstable. Well, the same rationale could be said for all terrorists. After all, who in their right mind would want to kill innocent civilians because of their religious beliefs?

Islamic extremists do. And to deny their radical Islamic motivation—as our own government has done repeatedly in refusing to classify Islamic terrorist attacks as such as in the case of the massacre carried out by Major Nidal Hassan—is a guarantee that such acts will continue to be perpetuated especially by lone wolf terrorists. Australian police are investigating to determine if Monis acted alone or whether he acted in concert with other Islamic extremists or even at the behest of ISIS itself.

Last month, Monis pledged his allegiance to ISIS and renounced his Shiite heritage in an online posting that since has been taken down. Our organization, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, retrieved the page and translated it. Monis wrote:

“Pledge of allegiance [to ISIS] of Sheikh Haron”

“Allegiance with Allah and His Messenger, and the Commander of the Faithful – I pledge allegiance to Allah and His Messenger and the Caliph of the Muslims”

“Praise be to Allah and prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his companions, and those who follow them and peace be upon the Commander of the Faithful, the Caliph of the Muslims, the Imam of our current era, and praise be to Allah, who made for us a Caliph of the Earth and an imam who summons us to Islam and holds fast to the Rope of Allah Almighty and praise be to Allah that I have had the honor to pledge allegiance to the Imam of our time. Those who swear allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims are just swearing allegiance to Allah and His Messenger….”

His website also contained rants against the Australian government for their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Australian intelligence was aware of Monis early on and had an extensive file on him based on his prior radical Islamic activities in Australia and electronic surveillance of his communications with Islamic terrorists overseas.

The terrorist incident in Sydney certainly indicates parallels with the calls for individually driven terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals throughout the West. These calls grew in prominence with Inspire magazine, put out by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) led by Anwar Al-Awlaki until he was killed by a U.S. drone. In calling for Muslims living in western countries to carry out lone wolf terrorist attacks, ISIS has copied the same playbook as AQAP in calling for local attacks whenever and where ever possible. These attacks are happening all over the world now, especially fueled beyond the Internet by the rise of social media which has pushed the message of Islamic terrorism virtually as fast as the speed of light. In the past two years alone, there have been more than 100 attempted or successful ISIS inspired Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe and the United State From Belgium to France to Oklahoma City, no place is immune from Islamic terrorism, whether it be from returning ISIS veterans or just those radical Muslims living in the West who are motivated to carry out attacks.

Moreover, it is a lethal mistake for western leaders to differentiate ISIS from other Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hizballah, Boko Haram, or Al Shabaab. Those Islamic terrorist groups are motivated by the same underlying motivations behind ISIS: to kill as many of their infidel enemies as possible and impose Islamic supremacy. The only difference is that ISIS has declared itself to be a global caliphate; the other groups are focused on becoming regional caliphates. But their genocidal agenda and tactics are no different than those of ISIS. The only reason Hamas has not been as successful as ISIS in killing its infidel enemies is that Israel has been able to stop Hamas from carrying out acts of mass murder, even though Hamas tried this past summer when it launched more than 6,000 rockets and missiles at Israel in an effort to kill as many civilians as possible. Nigeria on the other hand has been unable to stop the horrific successful attacks by Boko Haram in which more than 300 Nigerians have been slaughtered in the past year alone.

Australian intelligence agencies probably had the best handle on the domestic threat by Islamic extremists as evidenced by their successful interruption of major plots in the past year. Those plots included a plan to behead Australian civilians and a conspiracy to bomb Australian targets. But those were plots planned by conspiracies of multiple extremists. Today’s incident, however, shows the difficulties of stopping lone wolf attacks. What we are witnessing is not the rise of radical Islam. It is only an extension of the rise of radical Islam unleashed by the 9/11 attacks. The difference is that this phase is not directed by centralized organizations. Islamic terrorism has now become decentralized, creating a new challenge for western intelligence agencies. It creates extraordinary pressure to come up with new methods to monitor internal threats which are also a technical challenge as it means monitoring meta data of social media. But the most dangerous and counterproductive act would be to deny that Islamic terrorist attacks are what they are: Islamic terrorist attacks.

Steven Emerson is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and the executive producer of a new documentary about the Muslim Brotherhood in America “Jihad in America: the Grand Deception.”

Emerson on Fox News on Australian Terrorist; Breaking News of his website

emersonGo to IPT for the video

IPT, by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
December 15, 2014

Martha MacCallum: Steve Emerson joins us now. He’s the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Steve, good to have you here today. I know you have been talking to people on the ground there. Tell us what you think about this person who held these people hostage and what we have seen unfold here today.

Emerson: First of all, kudos to New South Wales police and the SWAT teams. They moved in with massive force, and they seem to have executed it very well. As I understand it they did take out the hostage taker, Sheikh Monis, who by the way we discovered – and I say we, my organization, the Investigative Project on Terrorism – just retrieved his website showing that he actually published a pledge to ISIS a month ago in which he offered to be a martyr for Islam. So there is no doubt that this was an ISIS-inspired act of terrorism. I can tell you based on my contacts through the night with my sources in Australian police and intelligence, time was ticking away as the debriefings of the early released hostages showed that Sheikh Monis was getting increasingly agitated. Number two, in the open line communications between him and the New South Wales police he was issuing more violent threats. Number three, there were indications that he was prepared to detonate bombs he said he had on him. He was wearing a vest. It was a question… about whether he was wearing a suicide vest, but as the day wore on and as the night wore into the early evening, there was a time ticking issue about whether they should move.

And they [the Australian commandos] felt at this point, as I understand it, that they had to move because he was prepared to do something quite drastic. So at this point they resolved it. But there is no doubt at this point that they had to move based on the intelligence they were receiving from the earlier debriefings of the hostages and from their own surveillance of what they were seeing through their snipers based outside as you saw it on the video. They had bomb squads ready to go in wearing the protective gear, Martha.

Martha MacCallum: They absolutely did and we saw several people run out. We’re still trying to figure out the numbers of how many people may have been in there at the end. We saw four individuals come out on stretchers. And I should just let everyone know that we’re waiting to hear some more information about their condition. And it’s expected that the hostage taker, this Sheikh that you referred to who we’ve been talking about all morning, Sheikh Man Haron Monis, also referred to by you Steve as Sheikh Monis, interesting that he’s Iranian in his background. That is not typically the ISIS connection would be a difficult link to draw there, but as you point out, on his web site he was clearly influenced by this group. As a terrorism expert, how do you draw the line from A to B or do you in this point?

Emerson: Well first of all ISIS has been unique actually in being able to draw shi’a and all types of Muslims to their battle because they are establishing a caliphate. He himself, Sheikh Monis, he was on the radar screen for ASIO– that’s the Australian CIA – for years now because of one demonstrations he demonstrated in, communications overseas with Islamic terrorists, and his behavior in terms of what he has posted in social media, and his letter writing campaign of hate [to the families of fallen Australian soldiers in Iraq] . So they have known about this guy, but they couldn’t arrest him [prior to this incident]. He was arrested several times in the past, but released. Was he known to be a potential terrorist? Yes. Could they have stopped it? Obviously not. This is the problem now of people who act alone without [being a part of ] a conspiracy [with] other people. So there’s really hardly a way to interdict them, as Australia has done in the past 5 months. They have interdicted five major terrorist plots including one in which Islamic extremists and terrorists were going to behead Australian civilians in the heart of Sydney. So Australia has one the best records and the best intelligence services on Islamic extremists in their own country. But again, as we have seen in our own country when you have Nidal Hasan and other lone wolves, it’s hard to stop individual lone wolf terrorists.

Martha MacCallum: It’s a great point, and as you point out Australia has been very aggressive in terms of pulling passports of people that they have suspicion of. The United States has not done that. England has done that as well. This is a situation that we don’t want to see repeated in other cities, but we know that ISIS has called for exactly that. So it’s something that law enforcement across the nation has to be very vigilant about. Steve, thank you very much for all your information. It’s great to have you with us today. Thanks.

Also see:

Judge Pirro interviews Emerson on hostage taking, Administration rescue efforts and Al Qaeda-ISIS competition

 

IPT, by Steven Emerson
December 6, 2014

Judge Jeanine: American hostage Luke Somers, a freelance photographer ,was killed late Friday during a rescue attempt by US special forces. Somers was abducted last year and was being held by al Qaeda in Yemen. The murder raises new questions about how the US military will be able to respond to a spike in overseas kidnappings by terrorists. With me now, the founder of the Investigative Project Steve Emerson, and former CIA covert operation officer Mike Baker. All right, Mike. We’ve got two rescues attempts, the American hostage dead. Is there some truth to what the White House says about our intel not being as good as it should be?

Mike Baker: Well, you know, it’s an odd thing to say if they are in fact pushing and saying it wasn’t us. Part of it is they were concerned that they were getting some flack for not approving the initial unsuccessful raid quick enough. You could argue that, look, you control very little in a hostage rescue situation. Intel is never perfect in any of these things. We tend to be conditioned by feature films and beach books to think this is just a pretty simple thing, you find your target, go and rescue them. We have had a very good success rate. But things go wrong and you can never guarantee success when you’re talking about an operation like this.

Judge Jeanine: Alright Steve, same question. Is it good to say that we couldn’t find the guy twice?

Steve Emerson: Well it’s not good to say it, but on the other hand I will give them credit for actually trying to carry out the operations, especially for a president that has eschewed extra judicial operations. I’m glad they’re doing it but the reality is, as Mike pointed out, you’re relying on local intelligence initially, and that local intelligence is going to shift and it’s not going to stay stagnant. It’s going to shift and you’re not going to be able to rely on it when you’re on the ground immediately. However, the reality is it does put us in a position where we’re seen as a paper tiger now. Number two, they’re going to take precautions now to make it almost impossible now to rescue other hostages.

Judge Jeanine: That was my point, Steve and Mike. I’m sure you would agree with me. There’s in point in saying we tried but didn’t get them other than to tell the enemy, you know what we’re coming after our guys. But Steve I want to ask you a question, then Mike I’m gonna go back to you. The group behind this, Steve, is al Qaeda. We’re not talking ISIS now. We’re not talking Syria and Iraq. How were these guys different from ISIS?

Steve Emerson: Well they’re not different from ISIS. Actually they’re in competition and what they realized is that ISIS enriched itself by the tune of tens of millions of dollars by taking hostages and getting them to be paid by ransom money. This is exactly what was going on with this set of hostages. They were going to get paid ransom money, had a set of demands. And al Qaeda realized ISIS was getting a lot of fame and recruitment. So now they [are] in competition [with ISIS….and its] now it’s open season on Americans around the world. So al Qaeda now is in rivalry with ISIS in the same type of tactics, and you can be sure that al Qaeda is going to be killing Americans no matter where they are. Not necessarily directed by al Qaeda core but by al Qaeda- inspired people like in Abu Dhabi as we saw just last week, a woman who was killed. And Americans killed in the Sinai like the Israelis have been killed around the world.

Judge Jeanine: And Mike it seems as Steve is saying that Americans are going to be more at risk of being taken hostage. What can we do about this?

Mike Baker: Well, Americans and our allies, Westerners all over. But we do what we continue to do. It’s a little unusual to say, also, that, you know, well, this unsuccessful raid makes us a paper tiger. It doesn’t make us a paper tiger. It’s just the reality of it. Again, every operation, every hostage rescue attempt presents its own difficulties. And we have the best trained personnel in the world in trying to conduct these operations. But I think we’ve gotten to this place in our lives where the administration and everyone else wants a zero risk world. But it doesn’t work that way.

Judge Jeanine: I understand, Mike, that you want to take that side. But I think when you tell the world that we tried and we lost twice, there’s no point in it. (crosstalk). Hillary Clinton thinks we need to empathize with our enemies. What do you think, Steve? Real fast, we’re coming up against a hard break.

Steve Emerson: I think we should empathize with our friends first.

Judge Jeanine: Mike?

Mike Baker: It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Judge Jeanine: I couldn’t agree more. Steve and Mike, thanks for being with us.

Also see:

FAULTY INTELLIGENCE?

The raid was the third failed rescue attempt of an American hostage in five months and followed a Nov. 25 mission that was unsuccessful because Somers had been moved before U.S. commandos arrived.

In that raid, U.S. commandos and Yemeni troops swooped before dawn into a cave in the eastern province of Hadramout and freed eight people.

Seven of the eight turned out to be al Qaeda members who had been held captive by the militants on suspicion of being government spies, two senior Yemeni officials told Reuters. The eighth was a Yemeni computer specialist, they said.

Al-Ahmadi, Chief of Yemen National Security Bureau, said after the seven were freed they told Yemen authorities they were members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the militant network’s arm in the country, and that they had been accused by their own organization of spying for the government.

Thet were detained by AQAP “not as hostages but as suspects,” a senior Yemini security official said.

Reuters could not independently confirm his description of those being detained. American officials declined to address the question. Officials at the White House and Pentagon did not respond to requests by Reuters for comment.

The seven — five Yemenis, a Saudi and an Ethiopian – are now being held by Yemen’s government, the officials said. It is unclear if the United States was aware that al Qaeda members suspected of being government informants were among the people rescued in that raid.

The raid, along with Saturday’s mission and a failed attempt to rescue American journalist James Foley in July, have raised questions over the quality of intelligence used by Washington in attempts to free American hostages.

 

Emerson on ISIS in Canada, restrictions on RCMP, and the mother of all Islamic terrorist groups; Muslim Brotherhood

Spinning a Terrorist Into a Victim – Part 1: Who is Rasmieh Odeh?

Rasmieh-Odeh-APjpg

IPT News
October 27, 2014

Note: Part 1 includes our previously released 2-minute prologue/trailer.

Starting Nov. 4, federal prosecutors in Detroit present their case against a Palestinian woman who slipped through the cracks. Rasmieh Odeh, 67, has been in the United States since at least 1995.

To her advocates, she’s a peaceful community activist living in Chicago and an asset to her community.

Yet, she has a bloody, dark side that she has kept hidden all these years.

Odeh is a convicted terrorist who spent 10 years in an Israeli prison. She led a 1969 bombing that killed two college students in a Jerusalem supermarket. Odeh confessed. She says that confession only came after she was tortured. She was sentenced to life in prison, but was released unexpectedly as part of a prisoner exchange in 1979.

Her torture claim has never been substantiated—even by the United Nations, to which she reported the alleged torture after her release—and she has yet to deny her involvement in the murders or even her ultimate imprisonment.

Odeh could have discussed the particulars of her situation when she applied for her visa and citizenship—how her sentence was even commuted—if she felt her alleged torture merited special consideration. Instead, she simply told U.S. authorities she had a spotless record.

Prosecutors say that constitutes immigration fraud. A terrorist conviction for an attack causing two deaths is something immigration officials would want to consider before granting an immigrant a visa or welcoming her into American citizenship.

Still, her supporters have launched an aggressive campaign aimed at getting the fraud charges dropped. Odeh, they say, is the real victim here. They claim this case is really about a government conspiracy to attack Palestinian advocates in America.

The campaign is led by Odeh’s colleagues from the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), but has attracted support from the Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, and even a group of 124 feminist academics.

In the video above, the first installment of a five-part Investigative Project on Terrorism video series on Odeh’s case and the campaign to thwart it, we provide an overview of the case and a look at Rasmieh Odeh and those supporting her.

New installments will be released each day this week. Tomorrow we examine the 1969 Jerusalem bombing Odeh helped orchestrate and learn more about her victims.

Emerson on Fox News America’s Newsroom – Open Societies and Stopping Terrorism

 

Bill Hemmer: Police in Canada now say the gunman in the attack acted alone. Serious questions that remain about whether or not this was yet another instance of a so-called lone wolf attack. Steve Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, with me now. Steve, how are you? And good morning to you. You have some sources up on Ottawa. What are you picking up now that we have not yet learned?

Steve Emerson: Canada is no different than the United States. For the last few years, last decade or so, they have experienced at least a dozen major aborted plots to attack major targets [in Canada] including government facilities as well as [other] facilities in [Canada and] the United States. All of them have been stopped with the assistance of either Canadian intelligence or US intelligence. The sound bite you played by Walid Phares was right on, was spot on. The issue is if the government can get inside our minds then they could stop acts of terrorism. But the issue is the point of activization. You can be radical but not cross the line; you are believing in a radical theology. Once you cross that line into carrying out a criminal predicate, then it’s illegal, then the government has the right to stop you. So taking away your passport isn’t going to stop you from carrying out an act of violence.

Hemmer: Yeah you’re precisely right about that. Just so our viewers know, this man’s passport was confiscated. So too are the passports of 90 other suspected Islamic radicals that the Canadians are watching right now. You mentioned Walid Phares. To our viewers who did not hear that, here’s what he said on the record last night.

Clip of Walid Phares: The pool of individuals who are like Rouleau and Bibeau, both in the United States and in Canada, is pretty big. How are we going to be able to determine which one is going to act is the real problem of counterintelligence services.

Hemmer: How we are able to determine which one will act is the real problem of counterintelligence. How do you address that Steve?

Emerson: That is the quintessential problem because when the government becomes too intrusive, when it starts listening to conversations, taking down your phone numbers, looking at the books that you read at the library, the public gets outraged, that’s invading your privacy. Yet those are all indicators, potential indicators of whether you are potentially going to carry out an act of terrorism or whether you’re interested in carrying out an act of terrorism. And yet the problem is that if you are not interested and yet the government does intrude on your privacy, everyone yells, well this is an invasion of your civil liberties. In a free society there’s always going to be this tension here. After 9/11 there was no controversy at all about passing the Patriot Act. I think it passed 99-1. Today if you had a vote in the Congress about the Patriot Act, I’m not so sure it would pass. Maybe it would pass today, but maybe it wouldn’t have passed last week.

Hemmer: It just has a way of rubbing off and the intensity we give the topic rubs off after time. We were speaking last hour with a great guest who was telling us that you need to raise the terror alert just to make sure the thing still work. They did this in Canada, I don’t know if that is something you would support here. Is that even necessary in our country?

Emerson: Well you remember we went through the color alerts. The issue of the alerts is a psychological thing; the purpose is to raise the public awareness. But the reality is, Bill, that the public awareness is raised really only through one thing – through fear. And that fear is engendered ironically through the success of attacks like the ones that were carried out in Canada over the last three days. When the FBI is successful in stopping attacks, the public doesn’t realize the magnitude of damage and death that could occur. So they’re almost victims of their own success. That’s the real irony in stopping attacks.

Hemmer: Steve, it is good to get your analysis here. Thanks for coming back with us today. Steve Emerson out of Washington, DC.

****

See videos with transcripts of all of Steve Emerson’s appearances here.

Emerson with Judge Pirro on U.S. Counter-Terrorism Strategy

 

by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
October 11, 2014

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.

Emerson with Judge Jeanine: The Jihadists in Oklahoma and the Obama Administration’s Blinders on Islamic Extremism

 

by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
September 28, 2014

Judge Jeanine Pirro: And with me now the founder of the Investigative Project, Steve Emerson. All right Steve, welcome. A great night for you to be on. Alton Nolen’s Facebook page. You’ve seen it. What does it tell you about him and what his intentions are?

Steve Emerson: His Facebook page is replete with statements, pictures that emphatically reveal his allegiance to radical Islam, his hatred of the United States, his support of 9/11 attacks, his support of killing Americans, his support of Osama bin Laden. It’s a road map to his affiliation and his support to radical Islam. It’s proof of the fact that he’s a jihadist.

Judge Jeanine: So when you say that he has the markings of a jihadist, tell us why.

Emerson: Let me add a couple of other things here. Not only does the Facebook page prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt [that he was a jihadist], but the fact that his computers that were seized by law enforcement show that the websites he visited also revealed that he was looking at radical websites that were radical Islamic websites going for the killing of Americans. He was converted in jail to be a radical Muslim. The first step that is done by jihadists to prove, after when they start converting people, which he was doing, after he was released from jail, to prove that they can carry out acts of terrorism. So I’m looking at a scenario here, we don’t know, let me say Jeanine, what actually prompted him to pop. He was fired from his job. We don’t know that he was carrying out this beheading as a jihadist or that he was carrying it out because he was fired. But he carried it out as a jihadist in a jihadist manner, a decapitation which is an Islamic way.

But this guy was a ticking time bomb and I’m positive in saying this. That if he didn’t carry out this attack now at this point he would have done it in the future. And there are tens of thousands of others like him lurking outside, in the United States who haven’t done this but are jihadists and are just waiting to do it. And that’s the problem. Because as you know as a judge, you need a criminal predicate in order to charge somebody. Just because they express their support for jihad and willingness to kill, you can’t charge them, you can’t open up an investigation.

Judge Jeanine: Of course not, but Steve let me say that it is the intent, it’s the circumstances surrounding the crime both before and after that give us some sense of what the individual was thinking. And I think for the American people they’re wondering if this is a carrying out of a jihadi, a lone wolf carrying out his own jihad or if this is something bigger than that. But make no mistake Steve, this guy is imprisoned and actually tried to escape from detention and did escape. He was charged with assaulting an officer. He just got out of state prison. And we’re going to talk a little later in the show about the radicalization of some of our inmates to Islam based upon what they’re learning in prison. But with this case, how do we know whether or not his trying to recruit other people to join Islam is indicative f his being a jihadist?

Emerson: Well first of all there were profiles done [by the FBI and CIA] a couple years ago about Muslim inmates who are converted to Islam and what they actually do in prison and what they do after they get out of prison. The first thing they do out of prison in order to prove their loyalty to Islam is to actually try to convert people to Islam to prove that they are true Muslims. The second thing they do after they prove that is to do other steps [that prove they can be trusted to carry out terrorist acts]. I believe this [current situation] is going to lead to other people involved, [like] somebody who was running this guy frankly.

Number two, I believe that if we find out that he popped or that he carried out this killing because he was angry about being fired, [that] if he wasn’t fired he would have [ultimately] carried out…[sometime] else, a jihadist killing, because he was a radical jihadist that believed in killing Americans. And frankly Jeanine, there are tens of thousands of others like him in this country. I have no doubt that we are going to see other things like this, like are going on around the world. We are entering a global jihad. And the fact is this administration, the Attorney General, the White House, they have banned the use of the term ‘Islamic terrorism.’ He, [the] Attorney General who is retiring should be tried on obstruction of justice because I can tell you, [and] this is not publicly known, he has quashed the indictments of terrorist charges against known terrorist charities because he didn’t want to alienate Islamic communities in the US.

Judge Jeanine: I wish I had more time Steve to talk to you about that. Steve Emerson, thanks so much for being with us this evening.

Emerson: You’re welcome.

Obama Forbids FBI to Use Religion in Identifying Terror Threats, as ISIS Recruits Openly in U.S. Mosques

American Thinker, By Karin McQuillan:

Steven Emerson

Steven Emerson

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?

 

Emerson on CNBC Discussing Terror Threats to West by Jihadi Veterans

 

IPT, by Steven Emerson
Interview on CNBC
September 18, 2014

Host Tyler Mathisen: Authorities in Australia staging the largest counterterrorism operation in the country’s history Thursday to disrupt a gruesome plan by Islamic militants living in the country to carry out random public executions or demonstration killings. Australian media reporting the suspects wanted to kidnap and behead a member of the public and drape the body in an ISIA flag. Australia just the latest example of radicalized Islamic militants waging terror from within on the home front. We’ve already seen murderous attacks in Belgium and England. Steve Emerson is an author and executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and Ghaffar Hussain is a director at Quilliam, a counterterrorism think tank in London. Welcome to both of you. Mr. Hussein, let me begin with you. How close a call was this?

Ghaffar Hussain: From what I’m hearing, it was pretty close. The Australian police intercepted a phone call which suggested that these individuals, or one individual is a quite high-ranking member of ISIS, and he had been given instructions to now carry out this attack in response to, or as a tactical response from the ISIS point of view to the fact that the Australians are now sending troops to the region to help in the international effort to defeat isis. So I suppose we’re starting to see a number of things ISIS doing now, all of which are aimed to kind of prevent or the international coalition which has been a real game changer in holding back ISIS in Iraq.

Mathisen: Mr. Emerson, react to what Mr. Hussain just said, but also put in context the idea that the biggest terror threats may now come from within, not from without, and who are these people? Are they nationals of Australia or people who have gotten in via a passport? What?

Steve Emerson: Well after 9/11, the biggest threat was from al Qaeda [was] sending in operatives or trying to remotely detonate planes through operational devices that could remain undetected. Then we went through a period of homegrown terrorists who weren’t directed by al Qaeda but were recruited online or by the Muslim leaders in their own community. Now we’re into jihad 3.0 where we have people who are volunteering to battle Syria or the West in Iraq and in Syria, gaining the incredible experience of fighting, and then possibly returning back to their own countries in Europe, Australia or the United States. Now you have to remember that the people who are being recruited get vetted before they go to Turkey, which is the infiltration route. Then they get vetted at the border between Turkey and Syria to see who is willing to die and who is willing to be the most vicious. So when they return back to their home countries, you already have a preselected number of jihadis who are willing to die or carry out vicious acts of violence like beheadings. We haven’t experienced that in the US yet, but it certainly has been experienced in Belgium, Germany. It’s been experienced in Britain and now in Australia.

Mathisen: Mr. Hussain, how easy or difficult is it to track these individuals who as Mr. Emerson just described have a rather circuitous path, often moving through Turkey into Syria, into Iraq? How easy is it to track them so that when they try to come back into the United States or Great Britain, they can be identified, detained, investigated?

Hussain: Well, it’s not straightforward to stop people going or people returning. Turkey is a very popular holiday destination for many British people. And millions go there every year. It’s very easy to get a cheap, low-budget flight to Turkey and then get a coach across to the border and cross over. And if someone’s done that for a few weeks or even longer and decides to come back, unless they’ve popped up on social media and talked openly about what they’ve been doing, we’re not going to really know what they’ve been doing, these individuals. So it is very worrying that it is quite easy, in my opinion, to get back into Europe, certainly Britain or America, certainly very easy to get back into Europe, European territory, from Turkey and from Syria. And part of the problem is the fact that the Turkish government has actually turned a blind eye to these individuals because they have their own tactical objectives of overthrowing the Assad regime. And in the past they have not done enough to secure that border. So many individuals are getting the know-how, getting the motivation from individuals they come across online and then arranging to meet them at the Syrian border so they can go over and join ISIS.

Mathisen: We’re very tight on time. Mr. Hussain, thank you very much. Steve Emerson, where is the risk most prevalent and what would you expect the next sort of terror target to be? Would it be those kinds of streetnappings, or would it be the kind of attack that we saw in the shopping mall in Nairobi about a year ago? Very quickly.

Emerson: I think it would be the latter. I think we’re probably going to see–[although] it’s impossible to predict, a freelance–a homegrown terrorist returning from Iraq or Syria who decides to detonate a bomb someplace remotely or carry out a suicide bombing on his own like we saw in Belgium and in France in the last two years.

Mathisen: Is Europe more vulnerable than the United States, or can you tell?

Emerson: Europe is more vulnerable because there are ten times more numbers of jihadi volunteers, up to 5,000, who have gone over to Iraq and Syria. In the United States, only about 200 to 300 have. But that number is growing, unfortunately.

Mathisen: Gentlemen, we thank you both for your perspectives on this very chilling topic.

Emerson on Fox with Judge Pirro on How the US is Manipulating the Truth on Radical Islam

by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
September 13, 2014

Judge Jeanine: And with me now the founder of the Investigative Project, Steve Emerson. All right Steve, ISIS claims to have beheaded this British hostage. Your reaction tonight.

Emerson: Look, ISIS is very adept at manipulating the entire world. This is a recruitment video. It’s going to recruit a lot more jihadis from the West. There’s a reason why they’re videotaping it. There’s a reason why they’re using British or foreign jihadis to do the executions. There’s a reason why these videos recruit thousands more Western jihadis who go through Turkey, our ‘ally,’ that John Kerry just praised; an ally that refuses to allow the US to use its military bases, an ally that won’t shut down the black oil market that ISIS now gains $1.5 million a day in black oil market sales. So the reality is that our allies that the administration praises – Turkey and Qatar – are sabotaging our campaign against ISIS while the President has basically angered good allies lie Egypt, which really could be participating in a very meaningful way because it is significantly and ideologically against the Muslim Brotherhood which [ISIS] has in its origins..”

Judge Jeanine: Steve I’m still amazed. Thirty-five million Egyptians hit the streets, grandmothers, kids, everybody saying, ‘We don’t want the Muslim Brotherhood, we don’t want sharia law. We may be Muslims, 80% of us, but we do not want this extremism.’ But let me move along here. You just said a few minutes ago that that video might be an incentive for other people to join. We know that Ali Muhammad Brown, 29 – and you know I talked about this a few weeks ago – charged in the murders of four men. He says that he and two other people killed to avenge the US actions in the Middle East. Is this homegrown radical Islamic terrorism?

Emerson: Absolutely. I think that most people have no clue about what happened. Here was a man, Ali Muhammad Brown, who killed four people, the last one being a 19-year-old man in New Jersey, Brendan Tevlin. He was charged, [in New Jersey]; three previous murders were committed in Washington State. He [Brown] was arrested in July in New Jersey. In his confession to the New Jersey prosecutors, state prosecutors, he openly stated that his motivation for killing them was his, quote, his belief that the United States was evil because what they were doing to Muslims in the Middle East, that they were carrying out massacres of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq, and therefore it was his duty to punish Americans and to kill them. This was a direct confession admitting that he was carrying out a jihad. He should have been prosecuted for terrorism. No charges of terrorism were brought against him. The FBI was denied, was told to stand down, not get involved. No federal prosecutors were involved. This is the Obama administration basically denying the opportunity, denying the obligation to prosecutors the opportunity to bring federal terrorism charges because they don’t want to basically disturb the notion that there’s radical Islam in the United States.

Judge Jeanine: I’ve got to tell you something Steve. As a local DA, as an elected DA, I got to tell you the Feds jump in whenever they can. The fact that they didn’t tells me that this is huge, that they did not want to touch the terrorism piece. You’re absolutely right. But let me, let’s talk about. Now there’s an attempted attack on a US embassy in Uganda thwarted by police; another terrorist group now, al Shabaab. What about them? Do we have to worry about them now?

Emerson: We have to worry about all of these groups. And that’s the problem. All of these Islamic terrorist groups – al Shabaab, Boko Haram, ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda still, al Qaeda in Yemen – all of these groups have a common denominator. They’re all radical Islamic groups. Yes, they’re located in different areas. Some of them have regional grievances. But they have a common denominator – they believe in the sharia, they believe in the imposition of Islamic hegemony, and they believe in the hatred of the West and the hatred of the infidels. The bottom line here is the administration has compartmentalized all of these groups into different entities not believing that they’re connected. And so we have different strategies. In the press conferences delivered yesterday and today by press spokespeople for the State Department, they talked about Hamas as if it was a political entity. They talked about Turkey, a Muslim Brotherhood-controlled country, as if it was an ally of the United States when it sabotages the US. They [had previously] talked about Egypt as if it was an enemy because it’s against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Judge Jeanine: Crazy. Steve Emerson, thanks so much.

New York Times Censors Ad Decrying Islamist Censorship

by Steven Emerson
IPT News
June 5, 2014

Note: This article originally was published by the Daily Caller.

The New York Times has become complicit in a stealth jihad against free speech in the United States undertaken by Islamists and their sympathizers who masquerade as “civil rights” groups.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) recently bought a full-page advocacy adin the print edition of the Times. It discussed extensively the need for the media and government to directly address the reality that many acts of terrorism are rooted in radical Islam — as articulated by the terrorists themselves — and that Islamist groups attempt to deflect attention from radical Islam’s role.

A similar yet more concise version of the ad was scheduled to run on the NYT website the following day. However, something happened from one day to the next that caused the Times to demand that the IPT change the language immediately, or it would pull the ad.

Asked about the new demand, the Times replied: “In addition to being inundated with customer complaints. [sic] I have been asked for the immediate change by the publisher.”

The NYT ordered us to insert the word “radical” before the term “Islamist groups,” so that it read, “Stop the radical Islamist groups from undermining America’s security, liberty and free speech.”

An “Islamist” is not simply an individual who privately observes Islam as his faith. An Islamist is an individual who blurs the ideological lines between personal religion and the nation state — a boundary upheld as one of America’s founding principles and sustained in the First Amendment — to foster a governmental system that relies upon the supremacy of Islam.

“Islamic,” on the other hand, is an adjective that describes an idea or element derived from or inspired by Islam. Islamists promote an Islamic agenda, though some do it more subtly than others.

Groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are Islamist, hiding behind their Muslim faith and a veneer of “civil rights” as they seek to mainstream an agenda that elevates Islam above other faiths. Their agenda subjugates democracy and supports overseas terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and various individuals such as Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef Qaradawi, who inspires suicide attacks and other forms of violence.

The NYT’s directive to add the word “radical” is a seemingly minor, nuanced change. But here’s why it matters: IPT’s ads hold Islamist groups like CAIR accountable for refusing to acknowledge what many terrorists themselves acknowledge — that their acts of violence were motivated by Islamic text.

That the publisher saw fit to order changes at such a late stage — after the ads had already been approved, purchased by the IPT, and were running on nytimes.com — and that the demands for change escalated so quickly is unusual.

We have to wonder who exactly exerted what kind of pressure.

We can only conclude that the same Islamist forces that the IPT devoted its full-page ad to discussing were at work again — abetted by media sympathizers — in this case, the publisher of the newspaper of record.

CAIR would probably have preferred that the Times shut down the digital ad altogether — as part of its longer-term campaign to paint the IPT as anti-Islam and Islamophobic, while portraying itself as moderate. In a letter to the Times about IPT’s ad, CAIR said, “[IPT’s] new ad takes up this defamatory theme by bizarrely attacking the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, for rightly stating that ‘Islam is not the problem; extremism and violent extremism is the problem’ when it comes to terrorist attacks.”

The IPT never said Islam is the problem in its ads. IPT suggested that radical Islam is a problem, and that CAIR — and other Islamists like them — are a problem, for their unwillingness to call out other members of their own faith who use Islam to justify their atrocities. IPT’s print ad specifically lauded those Muslim voices who criticize Islamists. Our digital ad used the word “Islamists” rather than Muslims on purpose.

The very attempt to discuss the role of radical Islam in motivating terrorists spawned a campaign to shut the debate down.

America is not at war with Muslims or Islam. The U.S. remains a welcoming and tolerant nation – one in which Muslims are freer and more secure to practice their faith than anywhere else in the world.

The censorship of free speech by Islamist groups and their media apologists continues to prevent America from addressing the core threat of radical Islam. Recognizing reality is not an attack on Islam or Muslims. Those who say otherwise are the ones of whom we — and, particularly, those in the media such as the NYT — should be wary.

Steven Emerson is the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Steven Emerson: The effort to censor our NYT ad by pro-Islamist forces makes our point for us

The New York Times: Making the world safe for terrorism