Our legal architecture for fighting the infiltration of radical Islam is stuck in a pre-1993 Cold War framework. That framework prohibits the exclusion of aliens on the grounds of ideological animus against the U.S. as opposed to terrorist activities. We face an ideology that promotes acts of mass terror and thrives on resistance to assimilation.
The State Department’s strategy for countering violent extremism issued a week ago is, as usual, absent any mention of Islam. What’s more, the U.S. continues to suffer from the lack of any institution within the government from which to actually execute such a strategy, were we to have a sensible one, in terms of the war of ideas.
About the speaker
Andrew C. McCarthy III is a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. He led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others. The defendants were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and of planning a series of attacks against New York City landmarks. He also contributed to the prosecutions of terrorists who bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He resigned from the Justice Department in 2003. He is a contributing editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.
McCarthy is the author of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, How Obama Embraces Islam’s Sharia Agenda, Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad, Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, and How the Obama Administration Has Politicized Justice.
At the beginning or the middle of the so-called Arab Spring, Andrew McCarthy diagnosed it correctly in his forecasts of what would happen next are spot on, particularly regarding Turkey.
So without further ado, he will address us on the subject of,
Defenseless in the Face of our Enemies: What Keeps America from Protecting Itself from Radical Islam.” Please join me in welcoming Andrew McCarthy.
Thank you all so much. I’m honored to be here and I’m particularly honored and humbled that so many people would come out in such awful weather. It was fine when I left New Jersey. You almost never say that, but when I got into Gomorrah by the Potomac, the skies opened up, so I’m delighted that you’re all here and really humbled by it.
On the subject that Bob mentioned, being defenseless in the face of our enemies, no sooner did I sit down and try to think about what to say than jihadists accommodated us once again two weeks ago in Orlando, Florida where in the wee hours of the morning a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub that was teeming with revelers.
After killing and wounding scores of people, he took hostages in a restroom. He began calling police and media outlets, began crafting social media posts all for the purpose of announcing what was already clear to the denizens of the nightclub, who had heard him screaming Allahu Akbar, which means Allah is greater, as he fired shot after shot.
The message was, clearly, Omar Mateen was a stealth Muslim militant. He was an adherent of radical Islam who committed his atrocity in furtherance of its ongoing jihad against America and the West. He took time in the midst of that to make bayah, which is the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the emir of the Islamic State terror network and its proclaimed Caliphate.
By the time the police barged in three hours later and killed Mateen in a firefight, he had killed 49 people and wounded another 53. It should have been possible to have seen Mateen coming. He was a first generation American citizen, born in this country to immigrant parents from Afghanistan, raised in a troubled household in which the father is a visible and ardent supporter of the Taliban, the fundamentalist jihadist group that ruled Afghanistan in the ’90s, harbored Al Qaeda as it plotted and executed the 9/11 attacks, and to this day wages war against American troops as it fights to retake that country.
Mateen was 29 when he committed his mass murder attack. He was repeatedly suspended for fighting throughout his childhood school years. Academically, he had great difficulty. Despite being nominally American from birth, he was mired for years in English programs for students who speak other languages in the home. His rantings during the attack indicate that he considered Afghanistan to be his home and that he identified first and foremost as a Muslim, as a member of the worldwide ummah not a citizen of the United States, the nation he volunteered to levy war against as his would be ISIS masters exhort their acolytes to do.
Mateen was investigated not once, but twice by the FBI in the three years prior to turning the Pulse nightclub into an abattoir. The first time was because while working as a security guard he claimed ties to both Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, two infamous jihadist organizations that killed more Americans than any other. Mateen also claimed mutual acquaintances with the Tsarnaev brothers who bombed the Boston marathon. He spoke of longing for a martyr’s death, meaning he wanted to be killed while waging jihad against Americans.
The FBI further learned that within a two year period starting in 2011, Mateen had made not one but two pilgrimages to Islamic sites in Saudi Arabia. In Islamic terms, both pilgrimages were considered lesser ones, umrah, which is not required and can be done any time of year as opposed to Hajj, which all physically and financially capable Muslims are required to make at least once in a lifetime during the last month of Islam’s annual lunar calendar.