Radical Islamic forces have many times threatened Steven Emerson's life. From their point of view, he knows too much. His Investigative Project has logged more than 6,000 hours of video and audio tapes, and its library is probably the world's most comprehensive on radical Islam. Emerson has thus for years lived in hiding, emerging only for talks and meetings to impart what he knows. In this book, he reveals an American intelligence system so full of holes that it resembles finely aged Swiss cheese. Readers get a solid, albeit unpleasant, taste.
Emerson reveals the vision of a globe dominated by Islam prevalent among radical Islamic forces everywhere for the last two decades. Emerson's chatty account backs up this seeming scare mongering with enough facts about radical Islam's worldwide network to curdle one's blood. These forces have for 12 years achieved a new level of coordination, owing to their exploitation of civil liberties in the U.S.
"None of these groups was ever able to coordinate its worldwide efforts with the others until they came to the United States," Emerson writes. They use freedoms of speech and assembly with little oversight from the FBI, CIA, Immigration and Naturalization Service or any number of other U.S. agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Aviation Administration, and so on. Let us hope that free world leaders are listening.
Emerson opens his first-person account with details on how he was drawn to pursue and document radical Islam. In 1992, as a reporter for CNN, he was covering an Oklahoma City press conference at which of former Iran-contra special prosecutor Lawrence Welsh released a statement from President Bush (le pere), pardoning former Secretary of State Casper Weinberger. He was bored.
On December 25, Emerson passed some men in Arab robes clustered outside the Oklahoma City Convention Center. The Muslim Arab Youth Association meeting inside featured a "bazaar of vendors hawking all kinds of radical material," books preaching Islamic jihad, calling for the extermination of Christians and Jews, even coloring books instructing children 'How to Kill the Infidel'--and speakers from Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood (founded in Egypt in 1920s), Palestinian Islamic Jihad, among others. A Detroit FBI agent fielded questions from "a visibly hostile audience" cheekily asking for "advice on how to ship weapons overseas." Emerson's call to FBI headquarters produced the astounding revelation that the FBI could and would do little to monitor these groups.
Although a print journalist, Emerson after the February 26 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center pitched to the U.S. Public Broadcasting System a story on the recruitment and training of radical Islamic warriors inside America. The resulting hour-long program, Jihad in America, aired on November 21, 1994 and is available free on the Internet. In a Brooklyn, N.Y. Yemeni grocery store, Emerson found and bought 20 copies of videos promoting paramilitary training. His reporting took him to Florida, Texas, Chicago, the Middle East and Pakistan.
The first calls for global jihad came from a Palestinian Arab mullah, Abdullah Azzam, whose base in Peshawar, Pakistan recruited and trained Muslim warriors for a jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Azzam was killed in 1989 with his two oldest sons, a murder that went unsolved. But his followers, including a third son in Pakistan and a nephew in Chicago, spread his seditious message everywhere. On a 1993 trip to the West Bank, Emerson and translator Khalid Duran learned from a taxi driver that Azzam's brother-in-law lived in Jenin and from there, obtained more interviews.
El-Sayeed Nosair, who murdered Rabbi Meir Kahane in New York, led to 47 boxes of Arabic material, which police unfortunately ignored until after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Nosair had planned to "thoroughly demoralize the enemies of God" by blowing up and destroying the World Trade Center. The February 1993 WTC bombing killed six and injured more than 1,000 others.
Investigators eventually discovered the error in believing the WTC plotters inept. In fact, they were tied to a global network of al-Qaeda terrorists, including Mohammed Salameh, Palestinian Ramzi Yousef, Ahmad Ajaj, Nidal Ayyad, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind Egyptian cleric who ran a New Jersey mosque, and Osama bin Laden. One lieutenant, Ali Mohammed, was an officer in the U.S. Army's Special Forces. Their interconnected plots included theft of U.S. government documents, construction and operation of training camps within the U.S. and a 1994 plan to murder Pope John Paul II and blow up 11 American jetliners. The last was foiled only by accident, after Yousef fled the scene of a Manila "work accident" in December 1994, leaving behind a computer full of encrypted plans.
Emerson details his search through the U.S., to jihad academies in Florida and elsewhere. He includes excellent chapters on Hamas; Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam and al-Qaeda; and an appendix exposing the American support these groups get through the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Islamic Circle of North America, American Muslim Council and, last but not least, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Press pundits often and erroneously quote sources from these groups as "moderate." They are no such thing.
More importantly, Emerson maps out plans by which Western governments and agencies can fight back.
Emerson was closely aided by Khalid Duran, whom Muslim terrorists have also threatened with death. A Spanish Muslim descended from Barbary pirates, Duran is a hero and scholar conversant in English, Spanish, Urdu, Arabic and German, and the author of Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews. His book was endorsed by Jordan's Prince Hassan and throughout the Muslim world.
Duran rightly considers Islamic fundamentalism today a descendant of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood of the 1930s, an imitation of European fascism that failed at the end of World War II but survived and spread throughout the Islamic world. It has proved especially appealing to well-educated, moneyed engineers.
Duran taught Emerson that radical Islam is not the real thing. But he also helped to prove that violent Islamic fundamentalism will be a fixture on the U.S. and global political landscapes for years.
This superb book can help us cope. Alyssa A. Lappen
on November 17, 2002
I'd like to think that a book like this would help Americans wake up, but I'm not that naive.
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.
on February 7, 2002
Under the threat of death from the very militants he was investigating, Emerson produced this book of chilling insights. Emerson traces the convergence of the various terrorist groups to the year 1989 and proceeds with a detailed history of their growth from there. Among Emerson's colleagues is the liberal Muslim, Khalid Duran, who wrote a book about fostering understanding between religions. Duran has also been subject to death threats from militant conservative Islamist organizations.
Especially disturbing are Emerson's observations on how the militant groups hide under the cover of "charitable organizations" which are exempt from scrutiny. And the way the militants deny their activities even as they are caught red-handed is maddening.
This is an extremely important book. We ignore it at our peril. The very existence of the United States is in danger unless we pay attention to the militant Islamist threat.
on March 16, 2003
This remarkable book is an absolute `must read'. The author reveals through his exhaustive investigations, how Islamic terrorists living in the West, (primarily in the USA), have used our open society, freedom of speech and civil liberties to create and coordinate an Islamic Worldwide terrorist network intent upon Worldwide domination and Islamic expansion.
The writer exposes the ease in which these many Islamic terrorist groups have been successful in the US by exploiting the freedom enshrined in the US Constitution. Just as disturbing are the revelations of the casualness and seeming impotence of the security services in dealing with the threats.
It is surprising & alarming to learn that the national security establishment was completely unaware of things to come. Calls for Jihad against Israel and the West, from within the US soil itself during the 1980's going completely unnoticed.
The book reads like a novel, but it's reality and immediacy will at times take your breath away. Having read this book, one can be left in no doubt that, if not apprehended, these Islamic terrorists living amongst us in the US and many other locations within the International community, will clearly pursue their destructive agenda of which the September 11 2001 atrocities were only the forerunners of many attacks yet to come.
The writer reveals that when presenting his own considerable evidence of terrorist activities within the US in November 1994, he was amazed at how prominent mainstream elements of the media downplayed or ridiculed him. Accusations of `racism' and `crusader' were directed at him amongst the death threats from Islamic entities.
Many sections of this book will shock you. One such case is how the author was personally able to purchase a number of videos readily on display at a Yemeni grocery store in Brooklyn. Videos which revealed in detail the torture until confession of alleged Palestinian `collaborators' with Israel. Victims who were tortured and upon confession executed.
One can but commend the author's extensive research and the highly readable manner in which he has presented it here. Hopefully, the revelations within this book have now been taken seriously by the security services of the Western World, especially as war with Iraq appears imminent.
I also highly recommend three other books for those interested in this topic. "Age Of Sacred Terror" by Daniel Benjamin, Steven Simon , "Jihad; The Everlasting Hatred" by Hal Lindsey, "Why Terrorism Works" by Alan Dershowitz & "The High Cost Of Peace" by Yossef Bodansky. Thank you for your time.
on November 12, 2004
What could be more American, more rousingly patriotic than a political convention held smack in the middle of Kansas City, USA? You know, the kind where you can stroll amongst the various booths in the lobby, then excitedly bounce up and down in your seat cheering the inspirational speakers. And maybe afterwards meet up with fellow activists and plot strategy at, say, a nearby Ramada Inn. Oh yes, forgot to mention, this was an Hamas convention, focusing on future "crusader-Zionist-infidel conspiracy" targets around the world , with discussion groups devoted to "car-bomb lessons," "how to handle improvised explosives" and the "interrogation and execution of collaborators."
Yes, all true in the suicidal pre-9/11, bendy-border, got-my-visa-in-a-Cracker-Jack-box America, as meticulously and courageously detailed by Steven Emerson.
While reading Emerson you keep wanting to smack the heel of your hand to the middle of your forehead-Nuuh! What UNBELIEVABLE dangers were allowed to grow up around us! The book's cover shows a map of America, pinpointing communities that unwittingly hosted terrorist headquarters, conventions, conferences, rallies, training camps, internet servers, money-laundering businesses, `charitable' groups and, yes, God strike me dead, `summer retreats for adults and children.'
Besides Kansas City, what communities? Well, just a few out-of-the-way places, like: New York; Chicago; Los Angeles; Washington, DC; San Francisco; Philadelphia; San Diego; Dallas; Boston; Cleveland; Detroit; Denver; Seattle; Oklahoma City; Laurel and Potomac, Maryland; Brooklyn, New York; Charlotte, North Carolina; Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Florida; Sacramento, Santa Clara and Anaheim, California; Tucson, Arizona; Bridgeview, Illinois; Herndon, Springfield and Falls Church, Virginia; Arlington and Richardson, Texas; Plainfield, Indiana; Oxford, Mississippi; and Manhattan, Kansas.
Emerson's investigation into all this began on Christmas Day, 1992, when he was drawn into the Oklahoma City Convention Center by a buzz of activity involving men wearing traditional Middle Eastern attire, and then noticed books and videos on sale "preaching Islamic jihad." Gaining further admittance as a `recent convert,' he heard speaker after speaker "preach violence," while the audience chanted `kill the Jews!' and `Destroy the West!' Hmm.
Since this was nine years before the 9/11 attack we might wonder exactly where were our half-dozen or so biggest mega-million-dollar national security and law-enforcement agencies, for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation? At this point it is hard to avoid the Dave Barry line: "I'm not making this up."
While observing a Muslim conference in Detroit in December 1993, Emerson tells how, "After five days of listening to speakers urging Muslims to wage jihad," he was startled to see introduced as a guest speaker a senior FBI agent from the Detroit office, who then delivered some perfunctory remarks that were greeted by hostility and sarcasm. When Emerson later asked FBI officials how this could possibly be, they first denied it, then admitted that the agent had gone there thinking it was `some kind of Rotary club.' (Name couldn't have been Clouseau?)
What could account for such obliviousness, such a narcoleptic lack of urgency?
Not long before 9/11 Emerson attended a security meeting of top government officials, afterward emailing a friend: `We are doomed.' Because the prevailing attitude seemed to be, `We are such good people that nobody would ever want to attack us.' (Not unlike the zippity-do-da fall-of-Baghdad expectations?)
Americans had also become "numbed" by terrorist infiltration methods that take advantage of our very porous system (Emerson, Congressional testimony, 12/01)--which leads to what may be the most chilling development of all.
It is not just that terrorists have penetrated our borders, but that America is being colonized by dozens of unassimilated cultures, to such an extent that foreign terrorists and criminal gangs can immerse themselves in neighborhoods where once suspicious behavior now goes unnoticed.
Meanwhile most of America's political, corporate, media, educational, religious, and creative, e.g. Hollywood, elites have become enthralled with (no doubt some just plain terrified of criticizing) "diversity," "multiculturalism" and mass legal and illegal immigration. Is their now any major politician who does not daily bow down and chant "Our strength is in our diversity!"? Curious, since numerous studies have shown that nations with the greatest diversity are also the most war-torn. Exhibit A: Iraq.
Only the intervention of average voters seems capable of turning these grave security threats around. This of course is made much less likely with a two-party monopoly system that almost never allows popular votes on the issues of lower legal immigration or greater border enforcement--in spite of (or because of ?) decades of opinion polls showing a clear majority of voters strongly favoring both reforms.
Emerson stresses that most Muslim immigrants are decent hard-working people. No doubt, but experts, some of them Muslim, Emerson reports, estimated that 50 to 80 percent of the 1200 Muslim mosques in the US had been taken over by extremists.
Is Emerson alarmist? Although estimating the number of "sleeper cells" and the like needs constant reevaluation, his basic thesis has been all too tragically vindicated. In June of 1997, after considering `the mounting evidence of the strength of al Qaeda and other groups,' he warned in an interview, `get ready for twenty World Trade Center bombings.' Pretty much what happened--only all at once.
After 9/11 we kept hearing "Everything has changed." But has it?
It is somewhat as if violent criminals had invaded, burned and ransacked our homes, butchering members of our family, and we respond by demanding random ID checks from the Avon Lady and mounting gun turrets on the roof--all the while we hop into bed each night continuing to leave our back doors yawning open in the breeze, beckoning to the dark unknown.
Emerson's excellent reporting clearly demonstrates what happens when a nation comes to think of itself as an exception to history and virtually throws open its borders. On the individual corporal level we can imagine what would happen if someone were to cast aside their own protective immune system--so embarrassingly passé, so intolerant!
For all these reasons I strongly recommend Steven Emerson's AMERICAN JIHAD.
on July 29, 2003
In his function as a staff reporter for CNN, Steven Emerson stumbled upon frightening voices emanating from the midst of the Religion of Peace: conferences celebrating terror and promoting books on "How to Kill the Infidel", sale of videos showing the torture by Palestinians of suspected 'collaborators' and terrorists boasting of their kills. And all this is taking place here, in the United States. The fruits of his investigation gradually grew into a clearinghouse of terror data, and culminated in an acclaimed PBS documentary titled "Jihad in America" that won the George Polk award.
This book is a continuation of the theme. Naturally, such blatant practice of freedom of expression could not be allowed to go unpunished, and it was not long before violence and death threats forced the author into hiding.
Some of the most grotesque institutions of terror have established themselves and operate out of America, publically proclaiming peace but perpetrating hate, destruction, and jihad in private. The groups that operate under such saccharine banners as 'literacy groups' or 'youth associations' engage in organized crime, money laundering, sham marriages, and immigration fraud. Many pro-Islamic institutions in the U.S. are actually funded directly by Saudi Arabia.
The book recalls the exasperation of federal agencies who were not permitted to investigate these groups, their hands so tied that they couldn't attend terror conferences or even examine publically available data. Individual agents were actually prosecuted for attempting to investigate them. It is a testament to the professionalism and tenacity of the FBI that it nonetheless was able to prevent many attacks, among which the Day of Terror in New York City, the attempted bombing of American airliners, and the assassination of the Pope. Some of the schemes and people mentioned in this book were highlighted in the highly recommended Frontline documentary about John O'Neill.
The terror networks are not invincible, and current events show that the tide is turning. Our investigation and prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing is awe-inspiring, but law enforcement must be permitted to be proactive. Emerson describes a Hamas leader who is also a tenured professor at the University of South Florida. Al-Arian was in fact finally arrested a few weeks ago, a full year after the publication of this book.
The web of Islamic terror spreading through mosques is far-reaching, and Emerson acknowledges that he can touch only on a small part of it in this book. What becomes clear is that the organizations of terror are interconnected, and that it is pointless to distinguish between groups who only want to kill Americans, or just Jews, or only Hindus. Islamists suffer from what Emerson calls 'an extreme form of mission creep': everyone is a target.
We relaxed our stance in the 90s in the hope that only Israel was the target of terror. We know now that Islamism has the entire free world in its sights. But if we have the will we can defeat those who would destroy civilization.
on March 5, 2002
Steve Emerson wishes to dissuade those bigots who might target a whole ethnic group merely because of the actions of a few. This is why he adamantly declares "The vast majority of all American Muslims subscribe to the strong Islamic tradition of tolerance and human dignity." Unfortunately, Emerson adds "the extremists have disproportionate influence." The latter often set the agenda for the Muslim secular and religious groups throughout virtually every area of the United States. Emerson warns us that the extremists have taken full advantage of the politically correct attitudes dominating our mainstream media and academic institutions. The case of non citizen Professor Sami Al-Arian of the University of Florida is particularly upsetting to the author. Al-Arian was literally videotaped screaming for the "death to Israel." Nonetheless, for many years nothing effective was done to curtail his vile behavior.
The author says that these militants have murdered people in the United States. Steve Emerson has himself received a number of serious death threats. Federal and local police agencies, however, are often hesitant to investigate the militants. Emerson believes that these law enforcement officials are fearful of being accused of ethnic discrimination. This might be true even after 9/11.
How fanatical are the Islamic fascists? Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, a major terrorist in his own right, is perceived by them to be "too Western," adds Emerson. Coloring books are provided to Muslim children instructing them on "How to kill the Infidel." The adults receive tracts on the Jihad required to exterminate all Jews and Christians. These militants actively seek converts among those yearning for a "true believer" ideology to satisfy their existential angst. "American Jihad" is mandatory reading. The dangers cited by Steve Emerson will not disappear anytime in the near future. We are regrettably in this battle for the long haul.
on June 3, 2006
"The formula was simple: use the laws, freedoms, and loopholes of the most liberal nation on earth to help finance and direct the most violent international terrorism groups in the world." (p. 111)
The author describes where and how he got videotapes of speeches, terrorist training manuals, instructions for making bombs, materials for forging passports and other legal documents, etc. He presents his own experiences in attending speeches in mosques, talking to people, etc. The result is a picture of militant Islamists taking over the leadership of religious and charitable Muslim organizations in the United States and using them for (1) a base of operations and support, (2) a base for recruitment and conversion of Muslims to fundamentalist Islam, and (3) a base for networking with each other.
He makes a convincing case that not only Al Qaeda, but Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hisballah, National Islamic Front, Muslim Brotherhood, Algerian Islamic Salvation Front, Algerian Armed Islamic Group, and others are established in the United States and are meeting and loosely working together. "In focusing only on Al-Qaeda as the group most threatening to the United States, the government and much of the media are making a strategic and fatal error." (p. 193 paperback edition).
He names names, gives dates and continually cites evidence and sources. The cities hosting these groups are: Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Tucson, Arlington TX, Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Plainfield IN, Columbia MO, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Charlotte NC, Raleigh NC, Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton FL, Springfield VA, Herndon VA, Washington DC, Potomac MD, Laurel MD, New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston. This, as of 2003. (A news bulletin just out today says that Canadian officials believe there are 50 terrorist groups operating in Canada. People there as here cite permissive immigration policies as primarily responsible.)
The author also shows how Islamic operatives have utilized American universities to house and legitimate their front organizations "all in the name of `multiculturalism'." (p. 111) The author devotes a whole chapter to a detailed case study of exactly what and how this was done at one university. (For a narrative account of how this hospitable climate came to exist in academia, see The Rape of Alma Mater.)
The author does not forecast the outcome. "But one thing is certain. Unless we are able to recognize and define the enemy--militant Islamic fundamentalists--without fear of being castigated as racist, then we will certainly lose." (p. 195 PB ed.)
And yet, after all these years, these same conditions exist and are getting worse. And you cannot tell anyone about them because they develop a brain spasm and see you as a bigot (much like the Body Snatchers saw the people who were still human). If you want to know how this country got that way and how more and more Americans are being transformed (their word) into this kind of person, read While America Sleeps: How Islam, Immigration and Indoctrination Are Destroying America From Within.
on November 9, 2005
This book should be a guide for all Americans to better understand the Islamic terrorists, and the dangers that we face with the potential of hidden elements within our country.
Emerson has investigated and reported on this murderous ideology far longer than most considered it a threat. His book illustrates what we face now, and in the future.
on October 12, 2005
I found this book to a very sobering and scary look at exactly what is going on here in America. With our foolish open border policy it is clear that Islamic terrorists are using our freedoms against us. In the wake of 911 it is time we Americans take back our country from those who would destroy it. This book is a must read.