BILL O'REILLY : Now for the top story tonight. An inside look at the terror arrests today. With us now, Steve Emerson, author of the book, "Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the USA."
OK, now we've had three fairly high profile cases in the last couple of years. The Lackawanna case up in Buffalo, New York , all those guys convicted. Lodi, California , one convicted one still under. And then those clowns in Miami who said they wanted to below up the Sears tower, they're still being held without bail, right?
STEVE EMERSON, TERRORISM ANALYST: Right.
O'REILLY : And that's a low level thing.
EMERSON: As the FBI says, aspirational...
O'REILLY: Yes. So these are just idiots, with all due respect to idiots. But this is different in Fort Dix.
EMERSON: This is the most advanced case of terrorist planning and operation since 9/11. And you look at the affidavit, and it's all on videotape or audio tape for the last 16 months. It clearly shows they had capability, they had motive, and they had a desire. And they would have carried it out but for fantastic work done by the FBI informants.
O'REILLY: So the FBI had an informant inside the cell of these six? Four were from the Balkans, one from Turkey, one from Jordan . They tracked these guys understand for 15 months, a long period of time?
EMERSON: Since January of 2006.
O'REILLY: And the plot was evolving in the sense that they were going to get weaponry, they were going to gain access to Fort Dix and just begin killing soldiers.
EMERSON: They actually had weaponry. They actually had been firing on weekends at state parks and makeshift jihad raining camps throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey . They actually had paintball (INAUDIBLE) champs.
They were training almost every other weekend. And that was on video. They had semiautomatic weapons. They wanted more. They wanted AK-47's. And they were the second informant that was going to take - that was going to sell them those weapons. And that's when the FBI closed in on them.
O'REILLY: OK. Now they found all kind of jihadist literature. Right?
EMERSON: Video tapes, downloads of programs, they celebrated when they saw Americans get killed on this videotapes. They saw one video where American lost his arm in an explosion. They laughed at that.
O'REILLY: So they were good at taping themselves, watching this kind of stuff?
EMERSON: No. This was the eyewitness testimony of the FBI informant. OK.
But they certainly were mobilizing themselves and instigating their own jihadist behavior by watching these downloaded videos of Osama bin Laden, of the last will and testament of the jihad hijackers from 9/11" of other jihad videos.
I mean, these guys were true believers. They wanted to kill as many Americans as possible. They surveyed other military bases in the Northeast. They actually surveyed the Philadelphia stadium where the Army- Navy game is played.
EMERSON: They -- these guys are the true deal
O'REILLY: OK, they wanted to cause as much destruction as possible but the FBI has not linked them to al Qaeda or any other overseas operation yet, correct?
EMERSON: They said there is no link in international terrorist operation. It's a misleading - it's a misnomer to even phrase it that way. These were international terrorists. They were international motivated by radical jihad. Not linked to al Qaeda, but far more dangerous because there's no international phone calls to...
O'REILLY: Right. They just got together and said look, we're jihadists. We're here in the United States.
Now three of them were illegal. And this is what troubles me, because you have this cavalier attitude, even by the police. This is what this Virginia Beach thing was all about. Like, you know, they round up 15. We don't know what these people are doing, what they're doing, who they are. And they let them go. But three out of the six were here illegally in some kind of over stay on a visa situation, that kind of thing, right?
EMERSON: Right. Three of them were here illegally. But I must say that in full disclosure, I'm an NBC terrorist analyst. And I did raise this afternoon when I was on MSNBC raised the fact that they were here illegally. I raised it twice this afternoon.
O'REILLY: But on their website and in their straight reporting?
EMERSON: They haven't raised it.
O'REILLY: Correct. OK? And you know, I don't want to besmirch your employer. And we're happy you're here. But I'll tell you what -- this isn't the first time.
There are some news organizations that have tamped this illegal alien stuff down on purpose. And they're one of them, NBC News.
But be that as it may, I feel that illegal aliens in this country unsupervised, are - you know as we see now, something you have to take seriously.
EMERSON: Without doubt. And we're going to find out soon because I think one of them will talk immediately because they're all being segregated. We'll find out exactly how they got into the country. And we'll have to clamp down. Without doubt they're very dangerous.
O'REILLY: Yes. I mean, it's not just against the good people who just want to earn a living. It's against the people who want to kill soldiers at Fort Dix.
Steve, always a pleasure to see you. Thanks very much.
EMERSON: You're welcome.