8/19/2005

Steven Emerson: Get Ready for Twenty World Trade Center Bombings - Middle East Quarterly - June 1997

Who is the publisher of Middle East Quarterly ? Daniel Pipes' Middle East Forum. Look at what Pipes published in 1997 -- law

Steven Emerson: Get Ready for Twenty World Trade Center Bombings

Steven Emerson is the author of four books on the Middle East and, since 1993, the foremost specialist on the subject of fundamentalist Muslim activities in the United States. Formerly a staff member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and a journalist for U.S. News & World Report and Cable News Network, he produced the documentary Jihad in America that PBS broadcast in November 1994 and won the George Polk Award for best television documentary. Daniel Pipes interviewed him on April 8, 1997.

THE THREAT

Middle East Quarterly: Do fundamentalist Muslims pose a threat to the United States?

Steven Emerson: No doubt. All the major terror groups of a fundamentalist orientation have established deeply routed, well-organized cells and infrastructure here -- Hamas Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, as well as the Algerian groups, Islamic Salvation Front and Armed Islamic Group. They believe in the use of violence to carry out their doctrine and to achieve their goals. This is not just my assessment but the publicly stated view of top officials of the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation who repeatedly state that deeply entrenched radical Islamic groups have the ability to strike here in the United States at will.1

MEQ: How do these groups intend to achieve their agenda in the United States?

Emerson: They use the United States as a sanctuary in which they can raise funds, recruit new members, directly control Middle Eastern operations, and initiate terrorists attacks. They also use it to spread da`wa [i.e., to propagate Islam].

MEQ: Did the fundamentalists assess the World Trade Center bombing of February 1993 as harmful to their interests?

Emerson: Yes, at this point Islamic fundamentalists are withholding attacks inside this country, so the current threat is much more to Americans overseas and other Western targets. Not only have funds from the United States paid for the terrorist attacks, but actual recruits have been sent from here on actual missions to fight "infidels" and set up jihad battlefronts in Algeria, Bosnia, Israel and the territories, Lebanon, Chechniya, and the Philippines.

MEQ: At some future point things here will change for the worse?

Emerson: The rage against the United States is increasing. In an environment that not only sanctions terrorism but mandates terrorist attacks against "enemies" of Islam, the question is how long the quiet can remain.

MEQ: The absence of attacks in America since 1993 does not mean the problem of fundamentalist violence has abated?

Emerson: Not at all. If anything, the threat is greater now than before the World Trade Center bombing as the numbers of these groups and their members expands. In fact, I would say that the infrastructure now exists to carry off twenty simultaneous World Trade Center-type bombings across the United States. And as chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons become available to them, the threat becomes ever more ominous. Just because someone holding a gun to your head doesn't pull the trigger should not be understood as the threat not existing. It would be suicidal to permit our national security to depend on the good will or rationality of radical fundamentalists.

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Who is the publisher of Middle East Quarterly ? Daniel Pipes' Middle East Forum
Founded in 1990, the Middle East Forum became an independent organization in 1994. The Forum is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved April 27, 1998. For more information, view a copy of the IRS letter of determination.
# Daniel Pipes looks back on the Forum's first decade.
Mission

The Middle East Forum, a think tank, works to define and promote American interests in the Middle East through research, publications, and educational outreach. The Forum's policy recommendations include fighting radical Islam (rather than terrorism), convincing the Palestinians that Israel is permanent, reducing funds going to the Middle East for energy purchases, slowing down the democratization process, and more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia. In addition, the Forum works to improve Middle East studies in North America.

MEF sees the region, with its profusion of dictatorships, radical ideologies, existential conflicts, border disagreements, political violence, and weapons of mass destruction as a major source of problems for the United States. Accordingly, it urges active measures to protect Americans and their allies.

Toward this end, the Forum seeks to help shape the intellectual climate in which U.S. foreign policy is made by addressing key issues in a timely and accessible way for a sophisticated public.
Activities

Middle East Quarterly. Published since March 1994, the Quarterly is a policy-oriented journal aimed to provide cutting-edge information for specialists and absorbing information for a general readership. Edited by Michael Rubin, MEQ is the only journal on the Middle East consistent with mainstream American opinion.

Campus Watch. This recently established program monitors the often erroneous and biased teachings and writings of U.S. professors specializing in the Middle East, with the goal of improving the scholarly study of the region. A Campus Speakers Bureau provides speakers who can provide accurate and balanced information to American students in the classroom.

Research and Publications. Forum scholars produce a weekly newspaper column which runs in the New York Post and Jerusalem Post, write articles in magazines and journals, and publish

Daniel Pipes looks back on the Forum's first decade

Dear Reader:

Tomorrow, January 24, 2004, marks the Middle East Forum’s tenth-year anniversary.

Thinking that this is a good moment to review the Forum’s development over the decade, I’d like briefly to recall our beginnings and provide an overview of our current efforts, all in the context of current Middle East issues.
In 1994

Why did we start this organization on that memorably icy day in January 1994? Because we saw a gap and sought to fill it. That was just four months after the Oslo accords, a time when most specialists and policy-makers were wearing rosy-tinted glasses – prophesying an Arab-Israeli peace breakthrough, subsiding radicalism in the Middle East, enhanced economic co-operation, and so on.

We were skeptical and made this known from the outset, pioneered issues and points of view, such as the bad faith of the Palestinian leadership; the Syrian regime’s unwillingness to conclude a peace agreement with Israel; the threat of militant Islam against America and the West. The inaugural issue of our journal, the Middle East Quarterly, caused a mild sensation in March 1994 with a lead article by Hilal Khashan asking the unseemly question, “Are the Arabs Ready for Peace With Israel?”

And here are two examples from my own writing:

Within days of the Oslo accord signing on the White House, I wrote that “Mr. Arafat has merely adopted a flexible approach to fit circumstances, saying whatever needed to be said to survive. The PLO has not had a change of heart – merely a change of policy…enabling it to stay in business until Israel falters, when it can deal a death blow.”

Steven Emerson: Get Ready for Twenty World Trade Center Bombings - Middle East Quarterly - June 1997

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