by George Michael
2nd part of 2
CAIR, MPAC, and AMC
Emerson's detailed investigations into CAIR have generated consequences for this Islamist group in Congress. For example, in December 2006, following an appeal by "CAIR Watch" founder Joe Kaufman, Sen. Barbara Boxer (Democrat of California) rescinded an award to CAIR official Basim Elkarra, stating that she was uncomfortable with many of CAIR's positions. Not long after, Emerson disclosed Rep. Bill Pascrell's (Democrat of New Jersey) role in sponsoring a CAIR forum to be held in a Capitol facility. The Republican Party House Conference objected to this use by CAIR, whose members the Republican Party had labeled as "terror apologists." It was also Emerson who discerned that CAIR had effectively been founded by Hamas.
He has long sought to expose CAIR's leading officials who have previously expressed extremist views and been linked to militant activities. One of these is Ghassan Elashi, founder of the Texas branch of CAIR, who has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for numerous offences, including money-laundering for Hamas. In 2007, CAIR was designated an un-indicted co-conspirator in the trial of the officials operating the Holy Land Foundation, who were accused and later convicted of laundering money for Hamas. In the trial, FBI agent Lara Burns testified that CAIR serves as a front for Hamas. In January 2009, Emerson revealed that the FBI was severing its contacts with CAIR due to its ties with Hamas.
Emerson has released documents and tapes showing that leaders of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) have defended Hezbollah, excused Hamas terror attacks, compared the United States to Al-Qaeda, urged Muslims not to cooperate if FBI agents approach them, and issued demonstrably anti-Semitic and anti-American statements. In return, MPAC tried to demonize Emerson. At a conference held in late 2004, it displayed a poster called "The Faces that Are Always Talking about Terrorism," which included pictures of Osama bin Laden, Daniel Pipes, Pat Robertson, Donald Rumsfeld, and Steven Emerson. The implication was that Emerson, et al., were as nefarious as bin Laden.
In December 2004, MPAC again focused on Emerson in a report entitled Counterproductive Counterterrorism: How Anti-Islamic Rhetoric Is Impeding America's Homeland Security. It pointed out that several key public officials, including former national security advisor, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, had praised the efforts of MPAC in working with government officials to combat terrorism in America. Emerson countered, saying MPAC has deceived public officials into believing the group is "moderate" while at the same time defending Hezbollah and Hamas and rationalizing radical Islam.
The American Muslim Council (AMC) may have been Emerson's most dramatic exposé so far. He took issue with an invitation that President Bill Clinton extended in 1996 to Abdurahman Alamoudi, a prominent Muslim-American leader and the executive director of the AMC. The meeting between the president and Alamoudi was to take place in the White House. Clinton administration officials, including Clinton himself, Vice President Al Gore and National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, met with Alamoudi along with twenty-three Muslim and Arab leaders. According to Emerson, AMC had significant ties to Hamas and was a defender of Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk. Because of the notoriety Alamoudi received from the exposure by Emerson, the Clintons and President Bush returned Alamoudi's campaign contributions. This is an excellent example of how someone coming from outside the compliant structures of government can make an impact in political circles.
But the matter went even further. Emerson recorded a speech in which Alamoudi voiced support for both Hezbollah and Hamas. Emerson also obtained a recording of Alamoudi calling for bombings in the United States, a tape that was introduced at Alamoudi's detention hearing and credited with the decision to keep him in jail rather than let him out on bail. In October 2003, Alamoudi was then indicted on charges that he had illegally accepted $340,000 from the Libyan government for his efforts to persuade the U.S. government to lift sanctions against the Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi regime. Then, in 2004, Alamoudi was arrested and convicted of conspiring with two Al-Qaeda members to assassinate King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. In October, 2004, he pled guilty and was sentenced to twenty-three years in prison. Treasury documents list him as a longtime courier for Al-Qaeda and Hamas.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism
Emerson founded the Investigative Project on Terrorism in 1995 and currently serves as its executive director; this think tank and archive maintains the world's largest collection of nongovernmental data on radical Islamic groups, including more than four million documents, thousands of hours of clandestine video and audio recordings made at radical Islamic conferences, training sessions, fundraising activities, and assorted gatherings; and tens of thousands of original terrorist manuals and periodicals. The IPT has also compiled a database of thousands of known or suspected terrorists as well as dossiers on radical groups.
The IPT website offers a comprehensive counter-Islamist source of information, with government documents, proprietary information, and breaking stories. The IPT also employs analysts to collect and interpret data and sends associates to listen to speeches by Islamist leaders. To inform interested parties of its work, it mails out daily updates. Emerson also contributes to the Counterterrorism Blog website, which posts articles and information relating to radical Islam, terrorism, and nonviolent Islamist threats.
The IPT receives information from a variety of sources, including many not available to government agencies. The archive holds the trial exhibits from the first World Trade Center bombing case, which include numerous records on Muslim terrorists in the Middle East and elsewhere. Emerson and his staff meticulously copied the documents, which were all publicly available and obtained from the court and prosecutors. After reviewing the records, Emerson concluded that these various Islamist groups were coordinating their activities in a worldwide network.
The IPT, acting as a nongovernmental agency, assists, without fee, numerous government offices and agencies, in part because constitutional limitations tie the hands of federal and state security services. Due to a strong civil liberties tradition rooted in the First Amendment, the U.S. government lacks the authority to disband extremist groups or proscribe extremist speech. While the IPT does not possess any governmental powers or authority, it has the ability, like the media, to shine a light on the activities of Islamist groups, gatherings, and officials. Emerson often quotes Justice Louis Brandeis's dictum that "sunshine is the law's best disinfectant."
The constraints imposed on government agencies investigating terrorist threats created space for Emerson's Investigative Project. Since the mid-1970s, federal authorities have been hampered in their efforts to monitor political extremism, largely due to the legacy of the secret FBI project designated COINTELPRO. Negative publicity surrounding that program led the Justice Department to change FBI law enforcement and investigative methods to de-politicize the FBI. The Levi guidelines, adopted in April 1976, require evidence of a criminal predicate or a reasonable suspicion before commencing investigation of a dissident group. These changes had dramatic consequences, not least that the number of domestic intelligence cases dropped from 1,454 in 1975 to only 95 in 1977. Nothing in the guidelines, however, precludes the FBI from opening an investigation based on information received from a private group. NGOs such as the IPT and individuals such as Shannen Rossmiller have done much to fill the void. For its part, the IPT monitors not only radical Islamic groups in America advocating violent jihad but also those employing nonviolent or "stealth" jihad.
Emerson believes that the Islamist movement in the West continues to strengthen, in large part due to what he refers to as the "cultural jihad," which provides a congenial environment in which Islamists can flourish. He cites survey data indicating that many Muslim communities in the West sympathize with aspects of the Islamist worldview. These cultural jihadists in turn give moral support to the terrorists. In Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah, the French scholar Olivier Roy argues that Muslims in the West often experience a trauma of "deterritorialization" because they feel estranged from their native lands. To overcome anomie and alienation, young Muslims find solace in a new, purified Islam and attach themselves to a "virtual ummah [Islamic nation]" built by them on the Internet. This pool of mostly young, alienated, Muslim men provides a reservoir from which Islamists can recruit in the West.
In Emerson's opinion, the November 2, 2004 murder of Theo van Gogh by Mohammed Bouyeri was a watershed event that inspired Europeans to reevaluate the viability of the multicultural model, seeing that it results not in peaceful coexistence but rather in separatism and cultural jihadism, threatening the social fabric of Western Europe. He warns that moderates have little influence in Muslim communities in the West. Although the Muslim underclass in the United States is smaller than in Europe, Emerson finds substantial alienation in the Muslim-American community. He sees groups such as CAIR, MPAC, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim American Society as agents that exacerbate this tendency. What is more, he notes, Islamist schools in the United States are often funded by Wahhabi sources promoting an extremist variant of Islam.
Emerson has not gone unnoticed by Al-Qaeda. In September 2006, a leading public representative of the organization—American-born Adam Gadahn, who has adopted the Muslim name of Azzam al-Amriki—mentioned Emerson and several other Americans in a public videotape. The video begins with an introduction by bin Laden's lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who refers to Gadahn as a "brother" and "a perceptive person who wants to lead his people out of darkness into the light." Then Gadahn invites Emerson and the others to Islam:
If the Zionist crusader missionaries of hate and counter-Islam consultants like Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Michael Scheuer, Steven Emerson, and yes, even the crusader-in-chief, George W. Bush were to abandon their unbelief and repent and enter into the light of Islam and turn their swords against the enemies of God, it would be accepted of them and they would be our brothers of Islam.
Emerson and his colleagues remain unimpressed and continue their work.
George Michael is associate professor of political science and administration of justice at the University of Virginia's College at Wise.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.
 Steven Emerson, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us (New York: The Free Press, 2002), p. 6.
 Ibid., pp. 5-25.
 New York: Putnam Adult, 1988.
 With Brian Duffy, New York: Penguin Group, 1990.
 See also Steven Emerson, "Stymied Warriors," The New York Times Magazine, Nov. 13, 1988; Beau Grosscup, The Newest Explosions of Terrorism: Latest Sites of Terrorism in the 1990s and Beyond (Far Hills, N.J.: New Horizon Press, 1998), p. 405.
 James Kirkpatrick Davis, Spying on America: The FBI's Domestic Counterintelligence Program (Westport: Praeger, 1992), pp. 25-159.
 Los Angeles Times, Dec. 1, 2001.
 See "Why Jihad Watch?" JihadWatch, accessed Oct. 1, 2009; "About Us," Middle East Media Research Institute, accessed Oct. 1, 2009; "About the Project," Terrorism Awareness Project, accessed Oct. 1, 2009.
 John Robb, Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization (Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2007), pp. 89-91.
 "About the Investigative Project," The Investigative Project on Terrorism, accessed Oct. 1, 2009.
 Jamie Glazov, "The-Islamist Lobby in the House: An Interview with Steven Emerson," FrontPageMagazine.com, Aug. 4, 2009.
 Sue Myrick, "The War at Home: When Will We Open Our Eyes?" editorial, Feb, 5, 2008, accessed Nov. 29, 2009.
 Peter L. Bergen, Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 133.
 "Who Killed Abdullah Azzam?" Time, Nov. 24, 1989.
 United States of America, Appellee, v. Omar Ahmad Ali Abdel Rahman, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, New York, Aug. 16, 1999.
 Simon Reeve, The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism (Boston: Northeaster Press, 1999), p. 15.
 "Testimony," The Investigative Project, accessed Oct. 1, 2009.
 John Mintz, "The Man Who Gives Terrorism a Name," The Washington Post, Nov. 14, 2001.
 New York: Free Press, 2003.
 The 9/11 Commission Report (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004), p. 441.
 Steven Emerson, "Saudi Arabia: Friend or Foe in the War on Terror," testimony before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2005.
 E-mail correspondence with Steven Emerson, Nov. 19, 2009.
 Emerson, American Jihad, p. 37; Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), p. 5.
 Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, p. 6.
 See Raymond Ibrahim, "The Dark Side of Zakat: Muslim 'Charity' in Context," Pajamas Media, Aug. 15, 2009.
 Steven Emerson, "How to Really Fight Terrorism," The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 24, 1998.
 WTHR- NBC (Indianapolis), Nov. 10, 2003.
 Emerson, American Jihad, p. 80.
 Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha, "CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment," Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2006, pp. 3-20.
 Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 93-8; Harvey Kushner with Bart Davis, Holy War on the Home Front: The Secret Islamic Terror Network in the United States (New York: Sentinel, 2004), pp. 22-4.
 Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 84-5; Kushner, Holy War on the Home Front, pp. 109-12.
 "HLF Officials Convicted on All Counts," IPT News, The Investigative Project, Nov. 24, 2008.
 FrontPageMagazine.com, Feb. 9, 2008; The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 2, 2009.
 United States of America v. Mohammed Abu Marzook, et. al., United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, no. 03 CR 978.
 Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 103-4; The Dallas Morning News, July 15, 2007.
 Associated Press, Apr. 13, 2005.
 The New York Times, Nov. 24, 2008.
 Associated Press, Sept. 27, 2007.
 "Viva Palestina: An IPT Investigative Report," Investigative Project on Terrorism, accessed Nov. 17, 2009.
 "Foreign Terrorist Organizations," U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., Apr. 8, 2008.
 Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 111-6; Kushner, Holy War on the Home Front, p. 52.
 "Target Terrorism," CBS 48 Hours, Jan. 30, 2002.
 "ADL Commends Law Enforcement for Arrests of Suspected Terrorist Supporters," Anti-Defamation League, Feb. 20, 2003.
 E-mail correspondence with Bill West, chief, Special Investigations Section, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Miami (Fla.) District Office, Nov. 19, 2009.
 Newsweek, Dec. 29, 2006.
 Steven Emerson, "One Muslim Advocacy Group's Not-So-Secret Terrorist Ties," The New Republic Online, Mar. 28, 2007.
 Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 197-203.
 Steven Emerson, "Kicking a CAIR Extremist off the Human Relations Commission," FrontPageMagazine.com, Nov. 6, 2006.
 United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, Appendix A, CR no. 3:04-CR-240-G.
 IPT News, Jan. 29, 2009; FoxNews.com, Jan. 20, 2009.
 Steven Emerson, "Threatened by the Jihad," FrontPageMagazine.com, Mar. 14, 2007; Daniel Pipes, "MPAC, CAIR, and Praising Osama bin Laden," FrontPageMagazine.com, June 1, 2007.
 Daniel Pipes, "MPAC on Steven Emerson and Me," Daniel Pipes Blog, July 12, 2004.
 Counterproductive Counterterrorism: How Anti-Islamic Rhetoric Is Impeding America's Homeland Security (Washington, D.C.: Muslim Public Affairs Council, 2004), p. 4.
 "Profile: American Muslim Council (AMC)," Center for Grassroots Oversight, accessed July 7, 2009; Steven Emerson, "Friends of Hamas in the White House," The Wall Street Journal, Mar. 13, 1996.
 Emerson, "Friends of Hamas in the White House."
 The New York Times, Oct. 26, 2000.
 "Target Terrorism," CBS 48 Hours, Jan. 30, 2002.
 "Declaration in Support of Detention," United States of America v. Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, no. 03-1009M, Sept. 30, 2003.
 David Frum and Richard Perle, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror (New York: Random House, 2003), p. 83.
 The Washington Post, Oct. 16, 2004.
 United States of America v. Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi.
 Steven Emerson, Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2006), p. 15.
 Steven Emerson, "DOJ Oversight: Preserving Our Freedoms while Defending against Terrorism," testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2001; idem, American Jihad, p. 14.
 The Investigative Project on Terrorism, accessed July 7, 2009.
 Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 20-1.
 Davis, Spying on America, pp. 25-159.
 "The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Compliance with the Attorney General's Investigative Guidelines," (Redacted), Special Report, Office of the Inspector General, Washington, D.C., Sept. 2005.
 Davis, Spying on America, p. 176.
 See Shannen Rossmiller, "My Cyber Counter-jihad," Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2007, pp. 43-8.
 Steven Emerson, "Jihadism: Where Is It At in 2006?" Sydney Papers, The Sydney (Aus.) Institute, Autumn 2006, pp. 63-71.
 Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), pp. 272-5.
 BBC News, Nov. 2, 2004; USA Today, Nov. 2, 2004; The New York Times, Nov. 10, 2004.
 "Radical Islamism in Europe," interview with Irshad Manji, Steven Emerson, and Gilles Kepel, Aspen Institute, Washington, D.C., Dec. 2004.
 "A Special Interview with Steve Emerson," The Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security International, June 2006; Roy, Globalized Islam, pp. 234-43; on U.K. schools and radicalism, see "Music, Chess, and Other Sins," Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2009, pp. 78-82.
 Associated Press, May 27, 2004; Fox News, Oct. 29, 2004; Annette Stark, "Peace, Love, Death Metal," Los Angeles City Beat, Sept. 9, 2004.
 Raffi Khatchadourian, "Azzam the American," The New Yorker, Jan. 22, 2007.
 Beila Rabinowitz, "What Al Qaeda's Call for Pipes, Spencer, Emerson, and Scheuer to Convert to Islam Means," PipeLineNews.org, Sept. 19, 2006.