In the wake of the Fort Hood shooting massacre by Nidal Malik Hasan, Investigative Project on Terrorism Executive Director Steven Emerson sat down Friday to explain why he has no doubt the shooting spree was a terrorist attack. In other clips, Emerson takes on the inconsistencies put forth by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and wonders why Hasan wasn't investigated by military officials before he acted.Steven Emerson is considered one of the leading authorities on Islamic extremist networks, financing and operations. He serves as the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, one of the world's largest storehouses of archival data and intelligence on Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Emerson and his staff frequently provide briefings to U.S. government and law enforcement agencies, members of Congress and congressional committees, and print and electronic media, both national and international. Since 9-11, Emerson has testified before and briefed Congress dozens of times on terrorist financing and operational networks of Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and the rest of the worldwide Islamic militant spectrum.
Emerson is the author or co-author of six books on terrorism and national security, including:
- Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the U.S. (Prometheus, 2006)
- American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us (The Free Press, 2002)
- Terrorist: The Inside Story of the Highest-Ranking Iraqi Terrorist Ever to Defect to the West (Villard Books /Random House, 1991)
- The Fall of Pan Am 103: Inside the Lockerbie Investigation (Putnam's Sons, 1990)
- Secret Warriors: Inside the Covert Military Operations of the Reagan Era (Putnam's Sons, 1988)
- The American House of Saud: The Secret Petrodollar Connection (Franklin Watts, 1985)
He and his organization have been quoted or profiled in hundreds of newspaper and television stories since 9-11.
Emerson launched The Investigative Project on Terrorism in late 1995, following the broadcast of his documentary film, "Jihad in America," on public television. The film exposed clandestine operations of militant Islamic terrorist groups on American soil. For the film, Emerson received numerous awards including the George Polk Award for best television documentary, one of the most prestigious awards in journalism. He also received the top prize from the Investigative Reporters and Editors Organization (IRE) for best investigative report in both print and television for the documentary. The award from IRE was the fourth he had received from that group. The documentary, which was featured on 60 Minutes, has become standard viewing for federal law enforcement and intelligence organizations.
Emerson is recognized as one of the first terrorism experts to have testified and warned about the threat of Islamic militant networks operating in the United States and their connections worldwide. In a pioneering congressional testimony delivered in 1998, he specifically warned about the threat of Osama Bin Laden's network. Nearly every one of the terrorist suspects and groups first identified in his 1994 film have been indicted, convicted, or deported since 9-11.
Liberals & Conservatives Agree
"Steve has been on the cutting edge of [investigating terrorism] for many, many years... he has provided an extremely valuable service."
- Robert Blitzer, retired FBI Counterterrorism Chief
"[Steve] has been doing this a very long time, he is very professional, he is very thorough... Steve produces very unique, very significant information."
- Steven Pomerantz, former Assistant Director of the FBI, former Chief of Counterterrorism of the FBI
"When we would ask FBI if there were criminal violations of support to terrorism such as establishing Web sites soliciting funds or other means of terrorist financing, we would get blank stares. Rick Newcomb's office at Treasury was trying to give the FBI some guidance on where to look for terrorist money, but to little avail. When FBI said there were no Web site in the U.S. that were recruiting jihadists for training in Afghanistan or soliciting money for terrorist front groups, I asked Steve Emerson to check. Emerson had written the book American Jihad, which had told me more than the FBI ever had about radical Islamic groups in the U.S. Within days, Emerson had a long list of Web sites sitting on servers in the United States. I passed the list to Justice and the FBI…"
- Richard A. Clarke, former chief of counter-terrorism for National Security Council, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror, pp217.
"'I think of Steve as the Paul Revere of terrorism'… [Clarke] credits Emerson with repeatedly warning of Al Qaeda sleeper cells in the United States. He adds that he would attend Emerson's speeches whenever possible because 'we'd always learn things we weren't hearing from the FBI or CIA, things which almost always proved to be true.'"
- Richard Clarke, former head of NSC Counterterrorism, in a feature article on Emerson in Brown Alumni Magazine
"…Emerson was helpful in preparing to cross-examine defense witnesses in the [1993 World Trade Center bombings] case....He's a valuable source of information and knowledge. And in terms of trying to find places to look for evidence, he's a very good person to talk to. He's got a lot of insight."
- Andrew McCarthy, Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the 1993 World Trade Center bombings
"[Emerson is] the most authoritative expert on Middle Eastern terrorism in the United States today and whose investigations have uncovered the existence of terrorist groups operating in the United States today…This country owes a great deal of gratitude to him."
- Senator John Kyl (Arizona)
"Mr. Emerson has for so long been right on [his] predictions about our long fight against terrorism... Mr. Emerson has shared his very important insights with this subcommittee on a number of occasions in recent years. His expertise is based on daily contact with sources in government and key financial institutions as well as his participation in major terrorist financing cases."
- U.S. Representative Ed Royce (California)
"[The Investigative Project] was a decade ahead of its time in focusing on the terrorist threat to the United States and to our homeland from Islamic extremist..."
- U.S. Representative Brad Sherman (California)
"Steve Emerson, who I think is the best in the world he's got an overview of the war on terror kinda guy, he's got a lot of information coming in."
- Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor, December 29, 2006
"Steve was also the one who before 9/11 was saying, 'it's coming, it's coming, it's coming', and Islamic terrorists are going to hit us, and 9/11 came, and he was one of the
only ones screaming about it at the time."
- Dan Abrams, The Abrams Report, June 9, 2005
"Steve Emerson, you have been a fighter, a hero in the battle against terrorism in this country."
- John Kasich, Heartland with John Kasich, December 10, 2005
"Steve Emerson is one of the nation's best national security correspondents. His investigative work on radical Islamic fundamentalism is absolutely critical to this nation's national security. There is no one else who has exhibited the same expertise, courage and determination to tackle this vital issue."
- A.M. Rosenthal, former managing editor of NY Times.