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American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us Hardcover – January 29, 2002
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Some have said that the events of September 11 took every American by surprise. That's not true. There were Cassandras among us warning about the dangers of Islamic terrorism--and one of their leaders was Steven Emerson, who must be ranked among the most fearless reporters in the world. As a self-made expert on Islamic terrorism, he has invited the hatred of violent murderers. (At least one group has marked him for assassination; he was offered enrollment in the federal witness protection program, but refused). For more than 10 years, Emerson has soldiered on, studying groups that operate in the United States for the express purpose of funding and managing deadly organizations. American Jihad summarizes what he has learned, and it isn't comforting. Emerson shows how the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has grown an extensive network in the United States, how the group Islamic Jihad set up shop at the University of South Florida, and how an Islamic center in Tucson helped recruit two of Osama bin Laden's top deputies. He also provides circumstantial evidence that bin Laden himself once applied for an American visa--"even the possibility is tantalizing, and chilling," he concludes. He urges Americans to fight back, but worries that time is short: "We are still vulnerable." This is an important book, and a sobering one. --John Miller
Melissa Radler The Jerusalem Post It is hard to think of anyone who has done more extensive research in the area. The things that worry Emerson should worry America at large. --Jerusalem Post
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His inquiry as to why this is happening is not very clear, however. Nor is there much to address about how to change this situation. Maybe it is all as simple as the fundamentalist Muslims hate the modernity and economic strength of the US and its' allies.
Muslims who enjoy the wealth, opportunities and progress of the West do not speak out against the radicals of their faith. Perhaps they are afraid, they want to keep themselves safe and quietly prosper.
The book was interesting much in the way an Almanac is. Bits and pieces here and there that pique your interests. For a more detailed answers go to the Bibliography at the end.
Emerson seems to have spent much time investigating the radical Islamic movement in America, and their links to terrorism. I applaud his research. Facts like these need to get out.
One comment he made troubled me, however: he stated that he was wrong when he initially connected the Oklahoma City bombing with Middle-Eastern terrorists. Maybe he was unaware of the Iraqi connections at the time of publication--I hope he has learned of this since. (It's clear now how the OKC bombing fit exactly into the scheme that he himself has unraveled, and included several of the same players involved in other terrorist plots.)
Most of Emerson's book tracks the flow of money and associations of the terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. He doesn't discuss a lot of the philosophical issues--I guess that could be another book in itself.
Emerson reveals how the international terrorist organizations have used America and her freedoms to fuel their hate crimes against America herself, and many others overseas. He shows how the radical Islamic movement has hijacked the more moderate, peaceful Muslim groups, and has almost completely drowned out their voices.
Unfortunately, this book doesn't have a happy ending. I hope real life turns out differently. But given the pluralistic, politically-correct quagmire our society has become encumbered in, I'm afraid that may not be the case.
Steve Emerson, who first made history in the mid-1990's with his Public Broadcast Service documentary on mullahs in American mosques calling for the murder of Americans deep in the heartland of America, has produced a "citizen's handbook" that is vastly superior to anything the FBI or the White House has been able to offer its taxpayers--and we can buy this for under $12, which compares rather favorably with the $3 billion or so we pay for the FBI, and the $35 billion or so we pay for national intelligence overall.
There are really three stories in this book, which I urge every American--and every other citizen of the world--to read.
First, and most importantly, the book documents the wide-spread and robust network of Islamic "charities" and other front organizations--the most important based in Texas where they have been ignored--that do fund-raising for terrorism overseas as well as terrorist recruiting and training in the US. The map at the end of the book showing over 50 terrorist nodes in over 30 US cities, is along worth the price of the book. *More than 20% of the addresses and phone numbers in a top terrorist's phone book, when captured, where in the US.*
Second, the book provides insights into why the US Government is failing in the war on terrorism. The reasons for failure are balanced between policy failures--a pure unwillingess to confront Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and other governments that nurture terrorists--and intelligence failures, including such mundane things as refusing to demand police record checks on individuals from countries known to be exporting terrorists, and poor relations (and a lack of unilateral clandestine penetrations) with key intelligence services such as the Sudanese, which knew about the "Day of Terror" well in advance but did not tell us...and if it did tell us, our Intelligence Community failed to notice and failed to communicate the warnings.
The third story in this book is about sources and methods and mindsets, and the bottom line is this: an open mind can use open sources of information to such advantage, that it makes our closed source and closed mind bureaucracy look pitiful in comparison. The US taxpayer is not getting their money's worth from the US Government with respect to national security expenditures.
Finally, although perhaps not intended by the author, his insights are helpful in identifying four specific strategic psychological operations (PsyOp) or "cultural outreach" themes that the US should have been pursuing these many years since the Soviets left Afghanistan: 1) Arab-Afghans isolated and despised; 2) Arab arrogance in relegating all Pakistani's to "untouchable" nonentity status; 3) Oneness of umma fanatically pursued actually attacks and undermines the many varied Muslim cultures, especially non-Arab Muslim cultures; and 4) US has made mistakes--in crime, in morality, in support for repressive regimes--and seeks to change in the true spirit of the Koran.
The book's documentation of the crimes against the US of the American Muslim Council, to name just one ostensibly legitimate organization that is revealed in this book (which has been "lawyer-checked" and is bullet-proof against false claims of slander), and other similar "charitable" organizations, constitutes "citizen intelligence" at its best. Every Muslim in America should read this book before donating another dollar to any organization pupporting to be helping Muslims.
There is one other cautionary note: the book addresses the specific strategy of bin Laden and other terrorist leaders of deliberately seeking out Muslim youth with US passports who can be used as couriers and suicidal volunteers. The actual examples provided--real people with real terrorist support missions--easily destroy the common misperceptions of terrorists as "foreign." As the author documents, they are within us, they are of us, and what we are doing now to defend ourselves is not likely to work in this context.
This is an easy to read, informative book with an excellent map, several tables of Islamic extremist organizations based in America, good notes and a good index. I recommend it without reservation.