It took the-near death of 300 passengers on Christmas Day to suddenly generate the attention and focus on terrorism that has been long overdue. Members of Congress, many with an air of righteous indignation, pummeled the massive counter-terrorist bureaucracy, demanding that the inexcusable series of errors, miscommunications and bureaucratic ineptitude that almost allowed the Christmas Day bomber to succeed be fixed immediately. And then on Tuesday, there was a momentary gasp as the heads of all the intelligence agencies, appearing at televised congressional hearings, universally agreed that they were “certain” that al Qaeda would attempt to strike at the United States in the next six months.
Such definitive predictive certitude is rare in the intelligence community. But given the reality, this was a pretty mundane remark. In 2009, there were 15 attempted or successful jihadist terrorist plots carried out here in the United States or abroad—the largest number ever in the history of terrorist attacks against the United States. And most were not al Qaeda but homegrown jihadists.
Instead of acknowledging the problem of the proliferation of radical Islamic terrorism, the leaders of the intel community spent much of their time focusing on al Qaeda or organized groups while simultaneously denigrating the seriousness of the extent of support for radicalism among the American Muslim community. Not one word was mentioned about the mother of all Sunni terrorist groups—the Muslim Brotherhood, which has masterfully pulled off a campaign of deception, fooling the public and the Obama administration into believing that the group is against radicalism. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Obama administration just gave a visa to Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss Muslim apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood while the Secretary of Homeland Security had a meeting with the leaders of various Muslim groups, most of whom support Hamas and Hizbollah.
Scandalously, we continue to be the unwitting enablers of radical organizations that are cultural jihadists or apologists for radical Islam. The administration won’t even charge the Fort Hood shooter, who killed 13 people, with terrorism. Unless and until the administration wakes up to the fact that the problem extends way beyond al Qaeda, no one should gasp at the certainty of future attacks.
Steve Emerson is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and author of five books and countless articles on terrorism. His most recent book is Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the U.S.