Seven years since 9/11

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On the seventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks on America, FrontPageMagazine conducted an interview with Alex Alexiev, vice president for research at the Center for Security Policy. It is reproduced below.

As we mark the 7th anniversary of 9/11 and the last few months of the Bush Administration, where do we stand in the war on terror?

Well, you can say that we are in fairly good shape in the war on terror, but doing very poorly in the war of radical Islam against America and the West.

This sounds like a contradiction in terms. Can you elaborate?

It does sound paradoxical, but it is the reality of the situation and an unfortunate one at that. We have done well in the war on terror because we have not had a serious terrorist incident on American territory since 9/11. So in the war on terror, strictu sensu one might argue that we have been victorious so far. But this is highly misleading, because the war we’re in is not a war against terrorism but against a radical totalitarian ideology in Islamic garb that is committed to the destruction of our civilization. And terrorism is just one of the instruments in the arsenal of this murderous ideology. To call what is essentially a war between civilization and barbarism a war on terror is not only highly misleading but also self-defeating since, as Sun Tzu teaches us, you can’t win a war if you don’t know who the enemy is. The failure to understand what this war is all about and explain it to the American people is the single greatest failure of the Bush Administration and the reason it will leave a pretty dismal record behind.

Expand please on how we have mislabeled this war.

If you declare terror to be your main enemy in this struggle, you’re elevating a symptom of the underlying malignancy rather than the malignancy itself to be your main adversary. This is like focusing on treating the symptoms of cancer like pain and such, rather than the cancer itself. It may make you feel better for a while, but sooner or later the cancer will kill you. The real enemy, on the other hand, whether you call it radical Islam, Islamofascism, Islamism or whatever is a militant millenarian doctrine seeking to impose Islamic rule and barbaric shariah doctrine worldwide. It aims to achieve that by various means and strategies, including proselytism, infiltration of our institutions, taking over Muslim institutions, creating parallel societies and enforcing shariah in Muslim communities, but also intimidation and terrorism. More recently, shariah finance has become yet another potent weapon in the Islamist arsenal. It pursues the legitimization of shariah while providing a new source of financing of extremism and terrorism.

In the West, this plan for conquest by undermining our society from within has been doggedly pursued by the Muslim Brotherhood with the help of Saudi money for at least three decades now. And it isn’t something that is a great secret. It was described in great detail in an Ikhwan document known as “the Project” found in Switzerland in the early 1980s. Indeed, if I remember correctly, Jamie, your publication was the first to publish an English translation of it some years back. The US government presented similar programmatic Brotherhood documents at the Holy Land Foundation trial.

Does that mean that you discount the visible success we have achieved in the war in Iraq? Cetrainly Bush deserves credit for that.

No, not at all. What our forces in Iraq have done is a great testimony to the professionalism, ability and dedication of the American soldier. And yes, President Bush certainly deserves a lot of credit for hanging tough and allowing our military to do the job. But even a complete victory in Iraq, while diminishing the terrorist threat, does not do much to advance the greater struggle against Islamism. It is also unlikely to be permanent if all of its neighbors with the possible exception of Turkey do not wish to see a secular and democratic Iraq. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria are all threatened by such a government in Baghdad and are doing everything possible to undermine it and we have done absolutely nothing to neutralize them.

Now, contrast that with the huge strides radical Islam has made since 9/11. In the important formerly secular Muslim countries of Indonesia, Bangladesh and Malaysia, Islamization is proceeding at a frightening pace. Shariah is now firmly established in the northern half of Nigeria and a vicious Islamist insurgency is raging out of control in southern Thailand and again in the Philippines. Our “strategic ally” Pakistan is in the grip of a talibanization process and its military intelligence is actively sabotaging our efforts in Afghanistan seriously threatening our hard-won gains there. In Turkey, the most important Muslim country, in my view, we now have an Islamist regime that has a good chance of transforming the staunchly secular NATO member into an Islamist Trojan horse. Last but most, the burgeoning Muslim communities in Europe are dominated by militant Islamists that totally reject European norms and culture and seek to undermine them. What is going to happen when the radicalized young European Muslims become a majority in the under 20 years old cohort in most large urban centers in 20 years or less, as demographics tell us they will? 

This brings us to the U.S. How far has this ‘project’ progressed in the U.S. to date?

Very far, in my opinion. We have a lot fewer Muslims than Europe and most of them are professional, economically successful people that should not be susceptible to Islamist hate-spewing, shariah barbarism and caliphate fantasies. Nonetheless, the combination of Muslim Brotherhood conspiratorial and organizational skills and unlimited financial support from our Saudi friends have resulted in the takeover of most of the U.S. Muslim establishment by Islamist fanatics dedicated to the destruction of our constitutional order. Virtually all organizations claiming to represent our Muslims are the product of the Ikhwan-Wahhabi nexus. In fact, they are one and the same organization with numerous fronts and offshoots. The original Islamist front in America, the Muslim Student Association, is as much of a product of the Brotherhood as are its spinoffs NAIT, ISNA, ICNA, MPAC and their close affiliates CAIR, aka Islamic Association of Pakistan, the Muslim American Society and countless others. Taken together these organizations represent a subversive movement, indeed a fifth column, within our society the likes of which America has never had to deal with in its history.

All of this is fairly easy to prove and well-known to our law enforcement authorities as testified by the fact a number of these organizations and individuals have been designated unindicted co-conspirators at various anti-terrorist trials and more than a few have been sent to jail. Despite that, many at the highest levels of our government refuse to understand and come to terms with this serious threat.

Instead, they use these organizations as their advisors on Islam with the predictable result of legitimating them and facilitating their subversive activities. It is high time we started taking a hard look at the Islamist infiltration at all levels of our government. How was it possible, for instance, for a person who appears to be an Islamist plant and lied about his background on his resume, to get to advise the number two man at the Pentagon into becoming a dupe of ISNA?

It’s probably too late to expect the Bush Administration to do much to rectify the situation you’re describing, but can we hope that the new administration will do better?

Well, I hope we can and should, but I’m not sure how realistic such hopes are. John McCain is on record saying that radical Islam is the greatest threat we face and that is very encouraging, but I have not heard anything specific from him about how the threat manifests itself and how he will go about confronting it. As for the democratic ticket, there are reasons to be concerned. The Obama campaign, for example, invited Ingrid Mattson, the president of ISNA to a key ‘faith gathering’ during the Democrat convention, thus bestowing its seal of approval on the most important Muslim Brotherhood umbrella organization in the country. This is not an auspicious beginning when you consider that many on the Left now consider radical Islam as a potential ally against their political opponents.

What would you recommend that we do as a government and people?

The simplest and also most important task of a country at war is “know thy enemy.” The Bush Administration has been an abject failure in doing that and the next administration must do it if we’re to make any progress in this war. What we need to realize and explain to the American people are three simple things. First, Islamism is not about religion but about political sedition and must be treated as such. Second, the Islamist movement in the United States and the West is a well-organized and funded fifth column and must be treated as such. Third, most of the financial and political support for these seditious activities are state-sponsored by countries claiming to be our allies. Only if we recognize these basic facts and start acting accordingly, we can expect, at long last, significant progress.


This interview was originally published on September 11, 2008 at


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