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How to Win the Terror War (An interview with Steven Emerson)
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ^ | March 20, 2003 | Bill Steigerwald

Posted on 03/20/2004 1:43:38 PM PST by quidnunc

When it comes to terrorism, Steven Emerson has every right to say he told us so.

The award-winning investigative journalist and international terrorism expert spent the last half of the 1990s warning, very presciently, about militant Islamic activities in the United States in PBS documentaries such as "Jihad in America" (1996) and before Congressional hearings.

Before 9/11 hit us, what Emerson mostly got for his digging was slander from mainstream media for being an "Islamophobe" and death threats from Islamic thugs. NPR blacklisted him, which is probably a good thing. Here is what he was saying in May of 2001:

"Al-Qaida is … planning new attacks on the U.S. …. (It has) learned, for example, how to destroy large buildings.... Al Qaida and other terrorist groups … have silently declared war on the U.S.; in turn, we must fight them as we would in a war.''Not surprisingly, the executive director of the Investigative Project and author of "American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us" gets more respect today. I talked to him by phone Wednesday from his offices in Washington, D.C.

Q: Is America safer today from an attack by terrorists than it was on Sept. 12, 2001?

A: Up until the Madrid bombings, I would have said definitely safer, not safe. I think the Madrid bombings showed the ability of (Osama) bin Laden's organization to reconstitute itself thoroughly under our radar screen.

Q: What have we done best here in the states to defend ourselves from al-Qaida or their ilk?

A: I think the joint approach of seizing terrorists' assets, of freezing the conduits, the bank accounts and front groups, as well as prosecuting terrorist sleeper cells and the financial coordinators, has been absolutely critical to the success in the war on terrorism.

Q: Where have we failed in fighting this war?

A: In looking at the war against militant Islamic fundamentalism, there are two components. One is the criminal attack on those who are violating the law by either carrying out attacks or assisting those who carry out attacks.

-snip-

(Excerpt) Read more at pittsburghlive.com ...


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: interview; jihadinamerica; stevenemerson; transcript; zionist

1 posted on 03/20/2004 1:43:38 PM PST by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc
A: Up until the Madrid bombings, I would have said definitely safer, not safe. I think the Madrid bombings showed the ability of (Osama) bin Laden's organization to reconstitute itself thoroughly under our radar screen.

Spain and the EU in general was not serious about fighting Islamic terrorism, and it's hard to get after the Bush Administration for that. We'll have to see how the Euro-weenies react to the Madrid bombings - but so far, not so good, as they rejected this week the notion of a centralized intelligence agency for Europe - a suicidal failing considering that there are no border controls within the EU any longer.

2 posted on 03/20/2004 1:47:53 PM PST by dirtboy (Howard, we hardly knew ye. Not that we're complaining, mind you...)
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To: quidnunc
I'm often asked what the panacea is here, and the answer is, we need to see an Islamic reformation. Then I'm asked how will we know there is a reformation, and I say, "One very telling indicator will be the appearance of many Muslim comedians."

That's pretty funny (and probably true).

3 posted on 03/20/2004 1:59:08 PM PST by DentsRun
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To: quidnunc
Drop a few nukes on the whole region but protect Israel. Our guys are dying because we pussy foot around. We have to do what we did to the Japs in WWII.
4 posted on 03/20/2004 2:06:26 PM PST by rambo316
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To: quidnunc
"One very telling indicator will be the appearance of many Muslim comedians."

Take my camel, please.

5 posted on 03/20/2004 2:45:08 PM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree
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To: quidnunc
Steve Emerson bump ... actual footage of meetings in New Jersey, Kansas City and some other interesting footage ...



http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005TPOO/qid%3D1079824224/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/002-7320475-8665665
6 posted on 03/20/2004 3:14:09 PM PST by Bobby777
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To: quidnunc
No. First of all, if Israel were to cease to exist and a Hamas state would replace Israel, there would probably be a greater amount of Islamic terrorism against the United States. That's No. 1.

Here's an important point that the liberals and Howard Philips types need to understand. We can't win through appeasement. We can win only by destroying these people and their ideology.

Ready for a Repeat
Bill

7 posted on 03/20/2004 3:15:41 PM PST by WFTR (Liberty isn't for cowards)
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To: DentsRun
That's a really insightful comment. One of the real problems with Islam is the lack of introspection. Comedy forces introspection.

Now, if an Islamic comedian is merely making jokes about being treated in a non-PC manner here in the U.S., that doesn't count. They need to deal with their own people's foibles, just like, say, Jackie Mason deals with Jews, or Richie Pryor deals with blacks.
8 posted on 03/20/2004 3:25:30 PM PST by FreedomPoster (This space intentionally blank)
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To: rambo316
Drop a few nukes on the whole region but protect Israel.

Gee, that will work.

Think twice then engage brain.

9 posted on 03/20/2004 3:59:12 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: quidnunc
"Al-Qaida is … planning new attacks on the U.S. ….

That's a gimme.

Obviously the most efficient why to deal with the threat is to cut off the serpents head!

We are in the process of doing just that, however a word to the impatient, appropriately so, is that IT TAKES TIME!

10 posted on 03/20/2004 4:05:29 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: EGPWS
why=way.
11 posted on 03/20/2004 4:07:09 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree
That's very funny - My vote will be for the next Muslim song writer who is going to pen "No Sound of Music"
12 posted on 03/20/2004 4:09:02 PM PST by M. Peach (eschew obfuscation)
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To: WFTR
Howard Phillips? Tell me more.
13 posted on 03/20/2004 4:21:42 PM PST by DeaconBenjamin
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To: quidnunc; Travis McGee
"One is the criminal attack on those who are violating the law by either carrying out attacks or assisting those who carry out attacks."


exactly...
radical islam = carrying out the attacks
moderate islam = asssisting them.

14 posted on 03/20/2004 6:46:56 PM PST by Robert_Paulson2 (the madridification of our election is now officially underway.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
I haven't heard Howard Philips speak directly to the issue, but I'm on an e-mail list that includes a couple of people from the "Constitution" party. They are all extremely opposed to fighting terrorism and frequently post articles written by CP people criticizing the war. They want us to try to appease the terrorists and pull out of the Middle East. When I said "Howard Philips types," I meant people like those on the list an not Mr. Philips specifically.

Ready for a Repeat
Bill

15 posted on 03/20/2004 7:09:11 PM PST by WFTR (Liberty isn't for cowards)
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To: quidnunc
...entire article...****

When it comes to terrorism, Steven Emerson has every right to say he told us so.

The award-winning investigative journalist and international terrorism expert spent the last half of the 1990s warning, very presciently, about militant Islamic activities in the United States in PBS documentaries such as "Jihad in America" (1996) and before Congressional hearings.

Before 9/11 hit us, what Emerson mostly got for his digging was slander from mainstream media for being an "Islamophobe" and death threats from Islamic thugs. NPR blacklisted him, which is probably a good thing. Here is what he was saying in May of 2001:

"Al-Qaida is ... planning new attacks on the U.S. .... (It has) learned, for example, how to destroy large buildings.... Al Qaida and other terrorist groups ... have silently declared war on the U.S.; in turn, we must fight them as we would in a war.''Not surprisingly, the executive director of the Investigative Project and author of "American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us" gets more respect today. I talked to him by phone Wednesday from his offices in Washington, D.C.

Q: Is America safer today from an attack by terrorists than it was on Sept. 12, 2001?

A: Up until the Madrid bombings, I would have said definitely safer, not safe. I think the Madrid bombings showed the ability of (Osama) bin Laden's organization to reconstitute itself thoroughly under our radar screen.

Q: What have we done best here in the states to defend ourselves from al-Qaida or their ilk?

A: I think the joint approach of seizing terrorists' assets, of freezing the conduits, the bank accounts and front groups, as well as prosecuting terrorist sleeper cells and the financial coordinators, has been absolutely critical to the success in the war on terrorism.

Q: Where have we failed in fighting this war?

A: In looking at the war against militant Islamic fundamentalism, there are two components. One is the criminal attack on those who are violating the law by either carrying out attacks or assisting those who carry out attacks.

Second is the political component, which consists of a need to discredit those who perpetrate or justify militant Islam generally under false cover by pretending to be a moderate or a civil rights group when, in fact, they are essentially providing coverage for Islamic extremists.

It's not illegal to be an extremist. It's not illegal to even call for the death of America. Therefore that wouldn't be covered by any type of criminal prosecution. However, that requires an active willingness to confront them politically, and that's where we have failed miserably and increasingly so since 9/11 -- with radical Islamist groups pretending to be something they are not.

There has been a willingness, unfortunately, by the head of the FBI as well as by various political leaders, to embrace the militant Islamic groups and legitimize them without confronting their radical agenda or asking them to unequivocally condemn and repudiate Islamic extremism.

Q: Why haven't we seen an act of terrorism in the United States since 9/11? Are we lucky or good?

A: There are various factors. The moment this interview appears or a question like that is asked, you can get bit. An attack can occur like it occurred in Madrid, without anyone knowing or having an inclination about it. That's No. 1.

No. 2 is the fact that the U.S. has done a pretty good job within the continental U.S. of interdicting cells, shutting down groups and doing preventative maintenance. The prosecutions and investigations have been on target. No. 3, the operational network of bin Laden has been severely interrupted overseas as well as in the U.S. And No. 4, these guys have a different timeline. They're not on ours.

Q: They're patient?

A: Yeah. They can wait for years.

Q: Were the attacks on the trains in Spain a sign that we are not able to stop terrorists when they want to strike?

A: Yeah. The fact that they could pull off such an attack, even though several of the people arrested were actually under investigation, shows the incredible ability to reconstitute themselves.

Q: What's it going to take to defeat these Islamist militants around the world? Or are we in for a global war without end?

A: Traditional wars have armistices to sign. There's not going to be one to sign here. There's a military component, a religious component and a political component. In a sense, the military component is the easiest.

The most difficult is to essentially discredit the militant Islamic movement. There is a real disconnect between those who support suicide bombings and justify terrorism and American values that abhor any type of political violence. Unless there's going to be a willingness to challenge the extremists, not appease them, then they're going to flourish.

Do I think that we're going to be successful in discrediting them? Not necessarily in the short term. To a certain extent, we need to embark on a genuine effort to embolden authentic, moderate Muslims, not the ersatz ones who say they condemn terrorism, but then, if asked if they condemn Hezbollah, they say, "No, it's not a terrorist group."

We need to promote the moderate interpretation of Islam by emboldening and empowering Islamic reformers to instigate a self-criticism within the Islamic world. I'm often asked what the panacea is here, and the answer is, we need to see an Islamic reformation. Then I'm asked how will we know there is a reformation, and I say, "One very telling indicator will be the appearance of many Muslim comedians."

Q: Will capturing or killing Osama really matter much?

A: No. It'll matter in one sense, in that he's the leader. On the other hand, bin Ladenism will long outlive him. The Madrid bombings will probably never be connected to him directly and therefore indicates that a whole new generation has been created. If anyone believes falsely that somehow arresting him or killing him is going to end the problem, they are going to be lulled into a false sense of security.

Q: Do you have any complaints or criticism of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East because it incites or attracts terrorists to us or our country?

A: No. First of all, if Israel were to cease to exist and a Hamas state would replace Israel, there would probably be a greater amount of Islamic terrorism against the United States. That's No. 1.

No. 2, I think the U.S. is hated not just because of our foreign policy, but because of the separation of church and state and the dominance we have. And the fact that these Islamic movements perceive themselves to be in a subordinate role, and they blame the U.S. or the West for this. It's really their own doing.

Unless the U.S. retreated entirely into its borders, unless the U.S. allowed radical Islam to start prevailing, unless the U.S. stopped assisting democracies and pro-Western regimes, unless the U.S. stopped combating the jihad movements around the world, unless the U.S. stopped protecting itself, then the U.S. is still going to be hated.

16 posted on 03/20/2004 7:44:47 PM PST by Gritty ("Before 9/11, the concept of 'enemy' had been banished from America's vocabulary-Mark Steyn)
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There has been a willingness, unfortunately, by the head of the FBI as well as by various political leaders, to embrace the militant Islamic groups and legitimize them without confronting their radical agenda or asking them to unequivocally condemn and repudiate Islamic extremism.

The kernel of the problem.

I don't see this getting better unless we come under renewed attack. Much of the public resolve of 911 has worn off, mainly because of the unremitting political and media blitz against Bush and our War in Iraq.

17 posted on 03/20/2004 7:50:30 PM PST by Gritty ("Before 9/11, the concept of 'enemy' had been banished from America's vocabulary-Mark Steyn)
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To: quidnunc; SJackson; yonif; Simcha7; American in Israel; spectacularbid2003; Binyamin; ...
Q: Do you have any complaints or criticism of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East because it incites or attracts terrorists to us or our country?

A: No. First of all, if Israel were to cease to exist and a Hamas state would replace Israel, there would probably be a greater amount of Islamic terrorism against the United States. That's No. 1.

Steve Emerson hitting the bull's-eye!





If you'd like to be on or off this
Christian Supporters of Israel ping list,
please FR mail me. ~
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There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had
spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass. (Joshua 21:45)

Letter To The President In Support Of Israel ~
'Final Solution,' Phase 2 ~
Warnings ~

18 posted on 03/20/2004 8:00:40 PM PST by Salem (FREE REPUBLIC - Fighting to win within the Arena of the War of Ideas! So get in the fight!)
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To: Salem
The end game is going to center on the black moon-god rock.
19 posted on 03/20/2004 9:05:35 PM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: dirtboy
A: Up until the Madrid bombings, I would have said definitely safer, not safe. I think the Madrid bombings showed the ability of (Osama) bin Laden's organization to reconstitute itself thoroughly under our radar screen.

Spain and the EU in general was not serious about fighting Islamic terrorism, and it's hard to get after the Bush Administration for that. We'll have to see how the Euro-weenies react to the Madrid bombings - but so far, not so good, as they rejected this week the notion of a centralized intelligence agency for Europe - a suicidal failing considering that there are no border controls within the EU any longer.

I would argue that despite Madrid, America and the rest of the world is still much safer than on 9/12/01 because of what we have done in Afghanistan and Iraq. For those who have not noticed, it would require 15 Madrid scale attacks to equal the carnage of of 9/11.

That being said without direct military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, there would be many more Madrids around the world and the US - a cause and effect lost on most of the EU and Liberal minds.

20 posted on 03/21/2004 4:46:15 AM PST by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: quidnunc
Good article
21 posted on 03/21/2004 9:47:19 AM PST by doug9732
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To: quidnunc
Every word is true, and that is refreshing.
22 posted on 03/21/2004 2:15:39 PM PST by JasonC
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To: EGPWS
Your dam* right it would work! Fry the lilly livered ba$tards and see how they like it. If it was up to me on 9/12 there would have been no arab cities left, none. Smoldering wreckage with no one left to carry on the cause. They would be trying for thousands of years to find to sticks to rub together. And I would leave it that way, no aid, no explanation, no apology. Bye a$$holes. Bye allah.
23 posted on 03/21/2004 8:30:08 PM PST by KingofQue
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree
"One very telling indicator will be the appearance of many Muslim comedians."

Take my camel, please.

I just flew in from Mecca, and boy, are my arms tired....

24 posted on 03/21/2004 10:55:42 PM PST by archy (Concrete shoes, cyanide, TNT! Done dirt cheap! Neckties, contracts, high voltage...Done dirt cheap!)
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To: Gritty
Wow! I'm going to buy his book. This man in insightful.
25 posted on 03/24/2004 10:50:53 PM PST by Clock King
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To: rambo316
Excellent strategy!
26 posted on 03/24/2004 10:54:23 PM PST by claptrap
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