by Jerry Gordon (June 2011)
The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat
by Erick Stakelbeck
Erick Stakelbeck is truly unique. He is the only on-air TV journalist who has a full-time “beat” on Islamic counterterrorism for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Stakelbeck has just published The Terrorist Next Door, a riveting first person account that is neither politically correct nor morally equivocating. The Terrorist Next Door is a highly readable background dossier that should be on the desks of every member of Congress.
A product of the tough streets of his native Philadelphia, Stakelbeck doesn’t mince words when it comes to depicting the threat of Islamization in America. Moreover, he synchs up the connection between so-called homegrown jihadi terrorists and the Qur’anic jihad doctrine conveyed by Muslim Brotherhood, Salafist clerics and al Qaeda Sheiks. This jihad doctrine is distributed via the internet, satellite TV and is available for purchase in DVD’s and audio tape racks in halal stores as close as ten miles from the US Capitol building in Northern Virginia’s “Wahhabi Alley.”
He has telling portraits of domestic jihadis – both natural born and converts – devotees of both domestic and foreign Islamic clerics who incite Islamic doctrinal hatred and violence towards Jews, Christians and other “kafirs”- unbelievers. Their objective is to supplant Judeo Christian values reflected in our Constitution with Shariah law and a global totalitarian Caliphate. A Caliphate that would deprive all women, unbelievers and apostates of their human rights subjecting them to corporeal punishment and death at the whim of fatwa wielding clerics.
Stakelbeck covers the disturbing rise of “virtual Sharia,” that is, self-governing Muslim communities in the UK. He draws close parallels with its US equivalent, Dearborn, Michigan, which boasts the largest mosque in America (a third of the city’s 100,000 population is composed predominately of Shia Muslims, many originally from Lebanon), with imams who support Hezbollah, Hamas and the Islamic Republic of Iran – all within the shadow of the World Wide Headquarters of Ford Motor Corporation. He dares to trespass on a paramilitary training compound in Red House Virginia, one of more than two dozen Jamaat ul-Fuqra terrorist facilities located throughout the US under the control of shadowy Pakistani jihadist Sheikh Muburak Gilani. He addresses the risible threat of a nuclear Iran’s growing influence in the Western hemisphere and the failure of the Obama Administration to engage the Iranian Islamic Republic, shunting aside support for regime change and leaving our special ally, the Jewish State of Israel, to seek its own means of combating this existential threat.
Stakelbeck has compiled hundreds of hours of video reports and interviews as the basis for this well annotated compact volume since he became the lead counterterrorism analyst for CBN in 2005. Doubtless, there will be a sequel to this gripping first book with more stunning revelations. It is a never ending saga and the intrepid Stakelbeck will be there to cover every twist and turn in sharply etched portrayals of this Islamic threat that has witnessed infiltration by Muslim Brotherhood adherents into the highest echelons of our government.
When we interviewed Stakelbeck for the New English Review, we noted his origins and the effect that 9/11 had on changing his career.
Stakelbeck is one of the few who, by dint of education and experience, knows the threat of Islamization in America and Israel. He didn’t start out his journalistic career after graduating college in the late 1990’s with that in mind. Prior to the watershed 9/11 date, Stakelbeck, a former high school and college basketball player, was bent on a sports writing career and ended up covering the NBA for a publication in New York.
After 9/11 he set out to learn more about radical Islam through in-depth research and eventually ploughing through Qur’anic doctrine. His family background (his late father was a U.S. Airborne veteran) and longtime interest in foreign affairs and the Middle East was a motivating factor. Through David Horowitz, he first realized his dream of writing on Islamic terrorism at FrontPageMagazine. Subsequently, he joined Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism and authored opinion pieces for a wide array of publications: The Wall Street Journal, Jerusalem Post, Washington Times and National Review Online among them. He also began appearing on Fox News, CNN and other television networks as a terrorism analyst. Eventually offered the chance to go on-air and report on terrorism and national security for CBN full time, he jumped at the chance.
Michelle Malkin in the forward toThe Terrorist Next Door explains why Stakelbeck’s book is a must read:
You are holding in your hands the unvarnished, invaluable reporting that the rest of the “mainstream media” can’t or won’t do. My friend Erick has traveled the world to interview terrorists who are plotting a global Islamic caliphate—and who have succeeded in Islamicizing large swaths of Europe. He has investigated fifth column organizations on our soil that pledge allegiance not to our Republic, but to Sharia law. In The Terrorist Next Door, he also blows the whistle on how the same reckless, open-borders policies I exposed in Invasion nine years ago continue to aid and abet Jihadi-sympathizers from Somalia and elsewhere.
At the beginning of The Terrorist Next Door, Stakelbeck warns us about the consequences of myopic denial of Islamic terrorists in our midst engaged in “chipping away” strategies of the post-9/11 and now post-Osama bin Laden era.
In recent decades, we’ve seen a growing number of homegrown terrorists in America, both converts to Islam and those raised Muslim. People like Daniel Patrick Boyd, Adam Pearlman Gadahn, and Anwar al-Awlaki, the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader, a New Mexico-born U.S. citizen and alum of Colorado State University.
Stakelbeck goes on to depict the feckless nature of local officials engaged in the Mega-Mosque conflicts that have erupted across America. This is revealed in a telling interview with Rutherford County, Tennessee Mayor Eugene Burgess over the controversial 53,000 square foot, 15.2 acre Islamic Center of Murfreesboro expansion project that met fierce community opposition and went through a controversial approval process and 17 days of hearings in Chancery Court.
I interviewed Rutherford County mayor Ernest Burgess, who told me that the ICM received no special treatment and that the county had also welcomed Buddhist and Hindu temples in the past. I pressed Burgess further, asking whether he knew about the rampant Saudi funding and Muslim Brotherhood penetration of U.S. mosques.
“I’m not informed about that, I don’t have any evidence,” he stammered.
“Don’t you think you should be informed, though?” I countered. “This is kind of a big deal, right?”
“As a basic citizen, I should be informed about every issue that I can be,” Burgess replied lamely. “But I can only enforce the rules and regulations that the State of Tennessee and the United States and Rutherford County have authorized me to enforce.”
Stakelbeck had earlier gone to another Middle Tennessee community, Shelbyville, to investigate another knotty problem. It was the influx of 1,100 fundamentalist Somali Muslims into a small community in adjacent Bedford county with a population of less than 18,000 that a Tyson Foods poultry processing plant had brought in to replace illegal Hispanic immigrant workers. Here, Stakelbeck discusses the issues with AP-awarding winning journalist, Brian Mosely of the Shelbyville Times Gazette, whom we had interviewed about the severe culture clash in the community.
“They’ve had an impact here. Unfortunately, it’s not been a good impact,” said Brian Mosely, a reporter for the Shelbyville Times-Gazette newspaper.
“I found that there was just an enormous culture clash going on here,” Mosely said “The Somalis were—according to a lot of the people I talked to here—being very, very rude, inconsiderate, very demanding. They would go into stores and haggle over prices. They would also demand to see a male salesperson; [they] would not deal with women in stores.”
“We’re talking about people who have not had any experience with Western civilization,” Mosely explained. “They don’t know the language. Things like running water are a miracle to some of these folks. . . . You don’t take people from a totally alien culture, put them into a community, and then say, ‘Alright, you must get along.’”
A new documentary about the Somali immigrants’ presence in this middle Tennessee community, “Welcome to Shelbyville” aired on PBS Open Lens in late May, 2011. Prepared by leftist immigration reform supporters, it aimed to vilify Shelbyville and journalist Mosely for their concerns over the Somali cultural issues. Several hundred hollow-eyed Somali women attired in Sharia compliant burkas also showed up in the halls of the Tennessee state legislature in late April protesting a state Material Support for Designated Entities Act. They could barely speak, let alone understand English. That didn’t stop the protest leaders from screaming at passers-by, “Racist Christian bigots!”
Stakelbeck does an excellent job of eviscerating the moral corruption in the multi-billion dollar US State Department refugee resettlement program that we have written extensively about. This program has delivered more than 200,000 Somali Muslims to heartland locations via the Clinton-era Gateway City initiative to communities like Minneapolis, Columbus, San Diego, Lewiston, Nashville, Shelbyville, Seattle and Portland, Oregon. He reveals the efforts by community mosque leaders to recruit émigré youths as Jihadis to fight and die in Somalia for al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab; an effort that was revealed in several federal investigations and indictments. He also discusses the transformation of American born Muslims like ‘Bama boy, Omar Hammami from Daphne, Alabama, who became an al Shabaab commander, after fleeing this country following 9/11.
The Somali Muslim threat in America figures prominently in Stakelbeck’s description of possible Mumbai-type attacks based on the foiled Christmas tree lighting jihadi attack in December, 2010 involving Oregon State College Somali émigré student, Mohamed Osman Mohamud. Citing our June, 2009 NER article, “Foot Soldiers of Islam”, he notes how prescient we were.
Probably Stakelbeck’s most effective portrayals are of al Qaeda operatives and jihadi imams in what Melanie Phillips has coined Londonistan. Primary among these are an al Qaeda supporter and Saudi ex-patriate Saad Al-Faqih, founder of the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia who was granted sanctuary in generous Britain and Anjem Choudary, a British born and educated lawyer and jihadist preacher who has a large following among native born South Asian Muslims.
The more than 400,000 South Asian and 250,000 Somali Muslims in the UK control several so-called “no go” areas in communities like Luton and the Tower Hamlets in London replete with trafficking in sex slavery and drug trading. The English Defense League (EDL) has risen up to oppose native jihadists in several major protests. The EDL is composed of more than working class types, and includes, blacks, gays and even a Jewish division. Choudary is considered,“Great Britain’s most hated man.”
Stakelbeck’s interview with Saad al-Fiqah, a Saudi ex-patriate with direct al Qaeda connections, whom the US Treasury designated as a global terrorist in 2004 and the Saudi Wahhabist regime has marked for death, reveals the prescient resilience of the al Qaeda flat structure despite the recent killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
“Al-Qaeda consists of three circles,” he began. “The first and central circle is made up of the real al-Qaeda team who has given homage to Osama bin Laden or other leaders.” Foremost among this group, he explained, would be the members who have been with al-Qaeda since its beginnings in the late 1980s.
“Inside the second circle are those who have trained with al-Qaeda but have not formally been accepted into the organization,” al-Faqih continued. “This group is bigger than the first circle.” This would most likely mean jihadists who have trained with al-Qaeda in Pakistan or elsewhere and then returned to their native countries replete with new-found expertise in terrorist tactics.
The third and largest circle, according to al-Faqih, consists of Muslimswho are “ready to join al-Qaeda and are looking for the means to enroll in the group.” Those are the homegrown jihadis, the self-starters and lone wolves, who have no direct links to al-Qaeda but are inspired by the group and its message. As we’ve seen, there is no shortage of this sort on U.S. soil.
“There will always be new recruits,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Al-Qaeda’s structure can never collapse.”
“Many people love the idea of jihad, you know?” he told me, as a smile crept across his face. “And they want to engage in it. . . . There is a huge amount of support [among British Muslims] for people like sheikh Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.”
“Some in the British government might consider that a threat,” I replied.
“It’s not a threat,” he countered. “It’s a warning. It’s a reality check.
“I think that the British government is sitting on a tinderbox, you know, full of dynamite,” he told me. “And they have the matches in their hand and they’re being very flippant. They’re not dealing with it properly.
“It could all blow up in their face and it could be a very vicious situation.”
At the conclusion of the Londonistan discussion, Stakelbeck has a number of lessons learned from his interviews that constitute a warning to America.
• A steady increase in Muslim immigration and refugee resettlement, along with the inevitable mosque-building campaigns and calls for special preferences and Sharia compliance.
• The establishment of self-isolating, insular Islamic enclaves—Dearbornistan, anyone?
• Government promotion of increasingly vocal and influential Islamist organizations like CAIR and ISNA.
• Islam’s expansion out of the major cities and into the heartland and small towns.
• Government policies that favor Muslim states and castigate Israel.
• Unrelenting political correctness and emerging speech codes—driven by political and media elites—regarding all things Islam.
Towards the end of The Terrorist Next Door, Stakelbeck returns to his Londonistan interviews to focus on the aims of doctrinal Islam expressed by former Libyan al Qaeda associate of the late bin Laden, Noman Benotman, now an analyst with the Quilliam think tank, and Choudary. This is to underline his message about what fuels homegrown jihadis, whether in the UK, the US or elsewhere among well-educated youths in the global Muslim ummah.
Benotman argued it was rooted in the Koran itself:
If any Muslim appears and says ok, there is no jihad in Islam whatsoever, please believe me, he is a liar. A pure liar. Jihad, it’s part of Islam because it is something that’s in the Koran. There are more than 40 verses, I think, in the Koran that mention jihad.
The Koran is not a book written for someone or a constitution. It’s the words of God.
[. . .]
Choudary bluntly attributes his beliefs to a single source: the Koran.
“You can’t say that Islam is a religion of peace,” Choudary told me, contravening another left-wing shibboleth. “Because Islam does not mean peace. Islam means submission. So the Muslim is one who submits. There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam.”
[. . .]
From China to America, Choudary told me, “We believe that one day the entire world will be governed by the Sharia.”
And where might Choudary get that idea? How about Sura 8, verse 39 of the Koran, which says, “And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah.”
At the end of the day, Choudary told me, Islam itself is “not just a spiritual belief. It is, in fact an ideology which you believe in and you struggle for and you are willing to even die for, because you believe in that: that is your whole life.”In other words, it’s the ideology, stupid.”
As we noted at the outset, the value of Stakelbeck’s book is that he has captured the essence of the doctrinal Islamic Shariah threat to America and the West and how this totalitarian creed has molded lethal homegrown terrorists among us emboldening them to commit violence against fellow citizens. For these reasons Stakelbeck’s book is a must read for all Americans, especially Members of Congress and state legislators grappling with how to fashion more realistic Islamic counterterrorism laws and programs.
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