Book Review - #2
By Steven Emerson with foreword by Congressman Peter Hoekstra
2006 – Prometheus Books
Available at all major books stores- Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Walden, Schuster, etc.
Type of Book:
Per Prometheus Books, Emerson is the founder and current executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. An award-winning journalist and internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security, he is the author of six books, including New York Times best seller, American Jihad – The Terrorists Living Among Us. He has testified before Congress numerous times on terrorism, extremism, and related matters. He was one of a few experts before 9/11 who warned America of Osama bin Laden and the threat he and his organizations posed. More information can be found at Wikipedia.
General Book Overview:
Jihad Incorporated is the largest nongovernmental data and intelligence book available to the public regarding militant Islam both in the U.S. and around the world. It’s a one stop shop about the who, what, when, where and why’s of the business (and when you read this book and see how strategic and detailed they are in plotting and planning – you will call it a business too) of Islamic extremism. As Mr. Hoekstra notes in the foreword of this book, “the global war against radical Islam will be long, and it will require the patience and perseverance of the American people. That, in turn, will require broad awareness of just the sort of detailed, carefully researched, and substantiated information that this book provides”.
Steven Emerson basically breaks this book up into a three part series:
Part 1 is called al Qaeda Targets The U.S. This section spends considerable time discussing al Qaeda and affiliated groups, historical information about the history of the organization, key players and different criminal activities they have been involved in since 9/11.
Part 2 is called Other Key Terrorist Networks. It goes into detail about other Islamic organizations with ties in the U.S. such as Hamas, Hizzballah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and many others. You’ll find out their origins, how they set up new shop and their activities both home and abroad.
Part 3 is called Unraveling The Support Network of Terrorists Within The U.S. It analyzes in great detail the support system to be found throughout the world to keep these organizations expanding their network of money, religion and hate via outlets such as charities, foundations, schools, mosques, business companies, jihad webmasters and more.
Most in the general public are aware of events such as the New York City multiple landmarks plot in early 1993, the late 1993 WTC initial garage bombing attack, the foiled 2000 Los Angeles Airport Millennium bombing plot and the terrible events in NY, DC and PA in 2001. But, if you are interested in reading a book that gives interesting facts not discussed in the main stream media, this is a great choice. For instance:
• Did you know that the formal fatwa calling for a holy war against the West began as early as 1992? The fatwa was originally issued by the Shura Council for al Qaeda. This fatwa basically says that Americans are fair game for death because they have a government we like and they don’t support it. We are all in the bulls eye of their target unless we are Muslim, practice Sharia Law and adopt Islamic doctrines.
• Did you know that Egyptian Islamic Jihad merged into al Qaeda back in 1998? That bin Ladens group is made up of other terrorist groups and not just him and his original core backers?
• Did you know that the bombings in East Africa were all test cases to see what it took to pack a truck with explosives, how to drive it to a site and park it and see once detonated what the maximum impact would be? The first explosion at the embassy at Nairobi was a decent result, but not quite as good as they hoped. The Dar es Salaam bombing followed thereafter with a better outcome. Planning began as early as 1993 for these bombings. They concluded with deadly success in 1998 after they spent years doing test planning, research and finally understood payload delivery lessons. These well planned attacks cost 224 people their lives. 12 were Americans. Most were African Muslims. Even with fellow Muslims, who are not Muslim enough, their hatred shines through.
• Did you know that the attack on the U.S. naval ship the USS Cole in Yemen by two al Qaeda operatives was actually the second attempt against a U.S. destroyer? The first plot failed that had been launched against the USS Sullivans. The boat that tried to reach this ship had been overloaded with explosives and it sank, thus ending the first mission. They recovered the explosives, studied boat and explosive load bearing limits and learned from this failed attempted. They came back for another round by strengthening the hull of their boat and adding fuel tanks for further stability which allowed the second attack to succeed. The two al Qaeda operatives piloted a new vessel into the side of the USS Cole in October of 2000 and detonating a bomb which tore a hole forty foot wide in the side of the ship. This attack ended up killing 17 American sailors and wounding 39.
• Did you know terrorist groups have infiltrated the U.S. in mass numbers – especially prior to the year 2000 - and have since pursued multiple plots involving critical infrastructure in the U.S. since 9/11? They have targeted federal buildings, transportation, commercial driving licenses, tunnels, bridges, subways, buses, passenger ferries, financial centers, forest fires, nuclear power plants, oil infrastructure, port, food/water & drug contamination plots. Not to mention civilian casualty programs – airliners, shopping malls, apartment buildings, and well visited vacation destinations. This book details all those plots foiled by capture of operatives and the information given up during their interrogations and subsequent trials. The details being too numerous to mention here.
• Did you know how easy it was for suspected terrorists to gain a commercials drivers license to operate not only big rig trucks for hauling of hazardous waste, but also to drive school and city buses that transport the public? The public is advised that suspected terrorists that make watch lists are flagged in a computer system and become ineligible for these licenses. Rigorous background checks are considered the norm now. At last check, of the 2.7 million truck drivers licensed to carry hazardous waste materials, 29 were found to have relationships with terrorist organizations. It only took 15 crazed men to take down three major airliners with devastating consequences. Imagine what 29 drivers with a loaded weapon called a Mack truck filled with hazardous and toxic chemicals could do if they were having a bad day?
• Did you know that many of the suspected terrorists in the U.S. obtained entry via student visas, temporary work visas, asylum visas or were sponsored by a female U.S. citizen (or one they paid for assistance) with whom they married, waited 3-4 to obtain their green card then divorced these women once they got citizen status? For those who had temporary visas of any kind that expired, warnings to report for deportation happened, but few left. Most blended back into the population undetected and have yet to be found even today. It’s impossible to count those who came here illegally and are not accounted for at this time.
Even the least attentive American has heard something over the years about some of the major players in these terrorist networks, but most are weak on details. We have all heard of bin Laden, the late al-Zarqawi, Mohamed Atta, Richard Reid the shoe bomber, Ressam the millennium bomber, Adam Gadahn the American Muslim convert now an al Qaeda sympathizer and translator, etc. If you don’t know who any of the major other operatives are such as; Ramzi Yousef, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, El Hage, Ali Mohamed, al Zawahiri, Khalid al-Fawwaz, al-Marri, Kahn, Siddiqui and others, you should. This book gives great details on all these men.
Americans should also be aware of the seriousness of all the different organizations that are carefully and deliberately producing tomorrow’s mass murders (oops, I believe they call them martyrs for Allah), organizations like Hamas, The Muslim Brotherhood, Hizballah, Palestinian Jihad, The Pakistani Jihadist Network, and many, many more. Once again, this books spells out what you aren’t hearing elsewhere.
Jihad Incorporated shows how these operatives and groups are strategically positioned throughout the United States, often in places you wouldn’t expect like Peoria Illinois, Columbus Ohio, Baltimore Maryland, Des Moines Iowa, Dearborn Michigan, Minneapolis Minnesota, Seattle Washington, Portland Oregon and more. These current extremists have spent considerable time learning our customs, our laws and our way of life in order to blend in and not stand out. They went abroad for terrorist training and came back ready for business. They conceived plots to alter life as we know it. Their objectives were simple – achieve mass casualties, create economic damage, destroy the infrastructure and create terror with the population at large. Fortunately, some plots never went past the planning stages. Others reached operational stages, but failed for one reason or another. Some cases remains classified so, the results are still unknown. For those that succeeded, we all know full well via cable tv., newspapers, magazines and often from first hand experience how deep their hatred is for this country, its customs and its people by the devastation their presence and actions caused to thousands.
Only by understanding who they are, where they are, what they have done so far and what they still plan to do, can we begin to truly safeguard our citizens and country and eliminate this never ending silent and deadly threat.
This is a substantial book – over 487 pages. Each chapter ends with its own footnote section rather than placing all at the very back of the book. That helps for tracking and cross referencing sources early versus later. The middle of the book contains about a dozen pages of black and white photos that help depict the major operatives in all their holy war glory, falsified documents that were used, maps and supporting plot materials that were seized and used in previous legal cases. This book is power packed with more names, places, dates, times and events then the average mind can possibly comprehend in one sitting. I would not call this easy reading as it’s extremely detailed, but it’s intriguing and interesting if you can keep up with all the information presented. I chose to read this book in small sections one at a time and that seemed to help.
Jihad Incorporated is not set up like a traditional work of fiction or laid out like a story with a plot. Rather, it is a serious reference source for those following the movement of Islamic extremists in the U.S. and worldwide. If you have a name or location and need details, this book is your source. I would call it the bible of project terrorism. A must for those in government, intelligence, security, the media and ordinary citizens who want “to get it”.
This group – The Investigative Project - began back in 1995 by Steven Emerson. They appear to be a treasure trove that few in the general public know about. The IPT has apparently assisted law enforcement on many occasions to intervene on terrorist activity when evidence elsewhere was lacking, but desperately needed. It is said that key prosecutions have also come about due to this project. Mr. Emerson’s research group has been used to assist projects via The White House, the FBI, the DOJ, DHS border security agencies, Secret Service, Pentagon, Special Ops, Treasury Department and others in their counterterrorism activities. The project states that they now archive more than four million documents, thousands of hours of clandestine video and audiotapes of militant Islamic training, fund raising, recruitment gatherings, tens of thousands of original terrorist manuals, telephone books, periodicals and more. The project employs analysts, translators, audio and visual specialists and undercover ops as part of their exemplary staff. This group is one of America’s most important arsenals against the war against Islamic extremists. It’s one you should know about too.
In the end, average Americans and people of the West may not become experts on all the names or groups or locations but, we sure can make it a point to have some level of understanding about the enemy. Our government officials, intelligence community and military professionals need to know inside and out what the extremists want to accomplish in their final mission so, it can be stopped dead in its tracks. Things like a world that includes the elimination of the State of Israel and all Jews, the indoctrination of the remaining world into the religion of Islam, showing reverence to the prophet Muhammad and the installation of Sharia law from sea to shining sea and every continent in between.
The extremists and top operatives believe they can use knowledge and ideas to weaken us from within, alter our society and force on us a set religion and common law. Ultimately, those who resist could be eliminated. We have the ability to use diplomacy, but that has limited results when your enemy can't get past the thought of chopping your head off before discussions even begin. If you do negotiate with them, it's always questionnable as some Islamic doctrine allows for "stetching of the truth" for the good of Islam. So, how does one complete a deal with a final handshake and feel confident that arrangements agreed upon were struck not with Allah, but possibly the Devil himself? We have our military and they are the most technologically advanced, well run and accruate in the history of civilization. Besides our mighty military, we also have knowledge as a source of power too. We have it and must use it wisely. That is our greatest untapped tool in this battle though many don't realize it. This well researched book goes a long way to winning the psychological and technical part of a very long and hard battle today, tomorrow and long into our future.
We can oppose this ominous trend with our own facts, data and analysis to plan a counter strategy that will cancel them out or take them down completely. Jihad Incorporated does an excellent job of showing how.
Three and a half stars for ease of reading ***.
Five stars for research and content ***.
The Local Area Watch