Martha MacCallum: We are back and we are waiting for comments from Secretary of State John Kerry. He's expected to address the horrific attack that took place in the offices of a satirical newspaper in Paris this morning. Steve Emerson is the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and he joins me now. Steve, your reaction to this and your thoughts on how prepared we are for something like this here at home?
Steve Emerson: First of all I wish I was surprised, but in the last four weeks as you know, Martha, France has experienced three similar attacks. Unfortunately French government officials refuse to categorize them as Islamic terrorist attacks due to political correctness. Fortunately they did characterize this one today. But our government today in this morning's press reaction by Josh Earnest refused to call it an Islamic terrorist attack; [all they] did [was] call it [plain] "terrorism" [and] just called it "extremism." The bottom line here, these are Islamic terrorist attacks and need to be called as such. The second thing is that these attacks are induced not by ISIS alone, not by al Qaeda alone, but by Muslim Brotherhood groups acting in the West that always spread the ideological poison that there is a "war against Islam." These are very groups that are invited to do outreach by the White House or by Western governments, and …[their incendiary message is] the number one inducement to carry out such attacks.
So are we prepared? Well, bottom line is the FBI has been doing a great job in stopping 98% of the terrorist plots since 9/11. But you can't stop all of them. So if armed terrorists want to go into a building of journalists or commercial activities, they can carry out such an attack and kill scores of people. The question is whether we can deter it or whether we can use informants and get [them] in place in time. And I don't know whether we can do that.
Martha MacCallum: You've touched on something that I think is so central to this fight because no, you cannot protect every single building in every city, it simply can't be done. But we did hear quite a bit about all the people, hundreds, who have passports who went to Syria and went to the Middle East to train with some of these groups. I often asked myself what the follow-up has been on that and how good of a job we're doing at figuring out who these people are before they walk into these buildings. Steve?
Steve Emerson: Here's the question Martha. I don't think we are doing a good enough job of identifying these volunteer fighters for ISIS or for jihadis overseas before or after; before they go or after they return. That's number one. Certainly in Europe they have not identified them properly and that is why they had the attacks in France last year, or in Belgium. Number two, you don't need to go to France, to Syria or Iraq anymore to become a jihadi. You go online to learn how to build a bomb. You can acquire weapons here. And three, the motivation is here online or in the communities among radical mosques in the United States or in Paris. That is the bottom line here. You don't see denunciations of radical Islam by name by mainstream Islamic groups. What you hear is that this has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is not the definition of terrorism, far from it. The point is there is a wing within Islam, radical Islamists, who believe in this and they have to be condemned. And unless they are ostracized and delegitimized, these attackers and these attacks are going to continue. And ultimately you can't seal off and insulate all of society from attacks. They're going to succeed ultimately. So as a counter-terrorist specialist, what I say here is that the only way to defeat this type of Islamic terrorism is ultimately to drive them from the blessings of the community of those radical Islamists that live within us. Unless we do it, we are going to continue to see [more of] his. And unless we call it what it is, radical Islamic extremism, [repeat] radical Islamic terrorism, we are going to [be giving] them a free pass.
Martha MacCallum: They are encroaching on new places and new ground as they have seen this morning. Steve, thank you very much. Good to have you with us.