tv Washington Journal CSPAN February 19, 2016 7:30pm-8:02pm EST
spot. hard to believe looking at it. one of the best parks in the country, but this really was a very depressed nasty place and it's a great story of how a community can get behind a park and start to appreciate river and waterfall again. >> watch the c-span city tour on saturday noon eastern on c-span2 . next conversation with the author of united states of jihad, investigating america's
home-grown terrorist. today's washington journal. >> peter bergen on homegrown jihad, america have under estimated the threat of jihaddist terrorists. >> 80% of americans are worry -- worried about terrorist. , you know, some of that was understandable. 224 people were killed by an isis affiliate. the attack in paris, 130 people were killed by isis directed and in san bernardino california 14 people killed who were inspired by isis, that said, you know, the threat from jihadist terrorist in the united states
is relatively low. it's been managed and contained because of the action of the u.s. government and also because the visions of the american public. >> host: when you say managed incontained, what do you mean? >> guest: if we had the conversation in 2002 and in contrast of anthrax attacks, i predicted that there were 45 americans killed and that would have seen optimistic projection, but, of course, that's what happened, 45 deaths are catastrophe but aren't on the scale of 9/11 or even paris attacks where 130 people have been killed. you're not going to hear have managed, contained threat. somebody is going to get one
through because both of the statements are correct. >> host: pete ' re bergen you americans americans suffer from also suffer from historic amnesia and that the golden age of terrorism was in the 1970's. guest: there were more than 100 hijackings. there were a whole slew of attacks. there was a lot of political violence. some of that had a marxist flavor and that has pretty much disappeared. host: this is not to say that the public should overlook the dangers of islamic extremism. everyone has raised the alarm to
family and community members of radicalizing militant alerting the authorities. not far from where we are sitting, you may recall the case of five young men from northern virginia who went to join the pakistani taliban. their families got in touch with the fbi and then they were arrested. peers and family members often know the most about people. how many investigations are underway in the united states? guest: the fbi says 900 in all 50 states. host: . >> guest: 900 investigations. these are single people or operating in pairs, we are not seeing the large groups that we saw in 9/11 attackers, lone
wolves. that is 2015 you see more jihadi terrorism cases since 9/11. >> host: first of all, how do you define jihad? >> guest: it has two meanings. war of enemies of islam. it also has another enemy, spiritualru struggle to action n islamic manner and other people choose that meaning, it's a more minority view jihaddist need to have a war against presumed enemy of islam. >> host: nadal husan. who is he and where is he now?
>> guest: he's in fortis lenaworth. he faces death penalty but unlikely to be carried out for killing 12 soldiers in fort hood, texas. he's an army major, psychiatrist in ron oak. either nonobservant muslims who became more islamic over time, fundamentalist, people fairly wellar educated. the problem with law enforcement they are ordinary americans. they are not foreigners coming into the country. >> host: where did the conversion happen? >> with hasan, both parents
died. his mother was and his father died in early 40's and late 50's. and that turned him into a more fundamentalist in islam. i also interviewed his first cousin who was also from northern virginia, successful lawyer here not far from this office, while we are doing this interview and he made hasan that his conducted who conducted attack at fort hood suffered -- you know, had -- was unmarried turning 40, he was worried about going to afghanistan in a war zone and also was never had a serious relationship with anybody else, no friends and so this was a socially-isolated individual who sort of performed in his own mind a heroic deed.
there are also a number other factors in his life. there are always some kind of -- personal mix of motivations. there's not one-size-fits all. it's all about personal disappointments. some people actually enjoy being part of a jihadi group. it's fun, exciting. >> host: first of all, you said you got a letter. have you had a chance to read it and write him back? >> guest: well, i try to reach out, obviously a lot of these people are in prison and some are dead. as much as possible i try to contact the perpetrators themselves, often they are under some kind of administrative measures from the government that prevent from talking to journalists. one of the people that i profile in the book, he's in florence,
colorado, middle-class kid, converted to islam and became a leading sort of jihadist on the internet. it turns out the english-speaking jihad that's motivating has been formented by american citizens. >> host: from or was from northern virginia. what is the northern virginia -- [laughter] >> guest: yes, for some people in virginia. he grew -- born in new mexico, spent time in san diego. he was actually invited to the pentagon to speak after 9/11. he was hanging out with two of the hijackers, he's the most
important english-cleric in the world of jihad. even at death, brightings keep showing up and helping publish, english language, jihadi magazine shows up at all cases that you look at and, indeed, in the boston marathon, they got the bomb recipe from magazine. >> host: you said there's no real connecting threat for no one-size-fits all. >> guest: one factor desire to belong something bigger, they believe in themselves, some are relatively young. for that it's tremendously exciting. amir khan, one of the first people to create jihaddist website. first person it appears. he's from charlotte, north carolina, he was working in a
coal center as a computer support specialist and move today -- moved to yemen. when you look at the cases, the more you know about them, the more individual each person is and the mix of motivations. you can't say it's radical islam or objections to american foreign policy. lotscy of people have personal disappointments, very few people go out and murder complete strangers, they killed an 8-year-old girl and 29-year-old female restaurant manager, for what? it didn't have any effect on the american foreign policy. it was pointless and ultimately the more you get into the why, at some point you hit a brick wall because at the end of the day the acts are inexplicable.
>> james clapper, director of intelligence talking about isis and threat to the homeland. i want to get your reaction. >> traveling to the conflict zones in syria and iraq in the pastin few years is without precedent. 38,200 foreign fighters including 6900 from western countries have traveled to syria from 120 countries since the beginning of the conflict in 2012. as we saw in november paris attacks returning foreign fighters with first-hand battle experience pose dangerous threat. isil has demonstrated sophisticated attack tactics, isil including eight-established and several more emerging branches has become the global terrorist threat. isil has conducted scores of attacks outside of syria and attack in the last 15 months and isil's estimated strengths globally exceeds that out of al-qaeda.
isil's leaders are determined to strike the u.s. homeland beyond inspiring home-grown violent extremist attack. although the u.s. is a harder target than europe, isil operations are critical factor. >> host: peter bergen. >> guest: 4500 westerners had gone and last time it was 30,000, now he's saying it's close to 40,000. the fact is that we are continuing to see a very significant numbers of people going for training. the good is some have a one-way ticket. some have been killed. i couldul only found two exampls with people who trained with the jihadi group and came back to the united states.
we are talking about a handful. look at paris, everybody involved in the attack had trained in syria. there were eight people that we know of that were involved in the actual attack and a couple dozen other people who were supporting the attack in one way or another. several hundred had come back. it's a big problem for france, bell yum, you know, very large numbers relative to its population going. it's a reasonably big problem for germany and britain. every europeans country has relevant significant number of people that have gone. wewe in the united states are protected by our geography and the muslim community is pretty integrated in american society. think about in france where 10% of the population is muslim. 70% of prison population is muslim is astonishing the high numbers. you are talking about u a group
that's disadvantaged. we don't have the same kind of anger in most american community. the number of cases. i looked at it since 9/11 a little over 300 of american citizens or resident or people here engaged in some kind of jihadi terrorist or crime. the volume of people who are being attacked to this ideology in europe is much higher. >> host: peter, if you were writing the book instead of calling it the united states of jihad, you called france of jihad, would yound come to the same conclusion? >> guest: you could have a paris-style attack, the french by their own accounts say they need 25 people and think about the several hundred who have come back from syria. you know, they've had two serious attacks in paris in one year. they killed 12 people in
january, they killed 4 people at a jewish supermarket in the space of two or three days. then we had the attack that killed 130 people in november and, you know, i think the european -- this is -- actually peter, i think it would get worst because you get influx of refugees, they are coming into society fundamentally a hostile to immigration, most of these countries are. look at the rise of nationalist parties in europe whether in france or in england or in hungary and they are all based on antialienation. youun see how this thing develo. >> host: we are going to put the numbers up on the screen so you can talk to peter bergen.
you didn't use domestic, you used home-grown. >> guest: the idea that these are not people traveling overseas for training, they're not associated with terrorist organization, they're radicalizing in their bedrooms or basement, you know, isis propaganda online and there's american as anybody who is looking at this - a- listening o this show. it's anhi american phenomenon which, i think, for most people they think terrorist came from outside because on 9/11 we were attacked by saudi arabians. san bernardino, lived in
chicago. he's he's he was working for cn cnn, osama bin laden first television interview and he declare it had war on the u.s. to the western audience that year. frank is in fort lauderdale, florida, independent line, frank, question or comment for peter bergen. >> caller: your book sounds valuable, i'min interested in reading it but i would like to tell youte about an experience that i had because i moved in miami-dade in 1976 and there was a bombing of the dominican conflict which is right in back of the building that i lived in. i was getting ready to move in at the time, i saw police around the area. i drove at night, there were a lot of people besides, you know, it's not just the jihadis versus america, there's a lot of difference of opinion between
the different sectors of the jihadi movement that don't like each other and they take out the grudges on the street of america just like the people in miami-dade t did years ago. miami-dade went through something like this years before what happened in virginia which incidentry i lived in for about seven years. >> host: got the point, i think, frank. >> guest: the caller makes a good point. it was conducted in wall street, i think, 1920 by an italian and, of course, the united states is weaponry and easy to have weapon or grudge or gripe to act out on it. one of the points i make in the book is extreme light wing
militants have killed the same numberst of people, on the churh in charleston, killed nine african americans. he did it political reasons. it'sto a political objective. there are other forms of political violence in the country other than jihadi terrorism. >> host: 330 americans have been charged with terrorism. 30% are married and 30% have children. >> guest: yeah, we came to that myself and my research team created database to make underlying claims in the book and if you look at the san bernardino case, they actually perfectly match the profile, they were both college educated, they were married and had a child, he was only $75,000 a
year, a pretty good job at san bernardino county and any respects they accept the fact that they adopted ideology they were very typical ordinary americans who seemed to be living the american dream. >> host: michael in millford, pennsylvania in the republican line. go ahead, michael. >> caller: things in the way are wayth simpler than anybody wants to admit. so syria, an ally of eastern powers, russia, the united states saudi arabia and turkey, western powers want to remove the assad regime who is an ally of russia. if we rewind of 2013, what did we do, we started arming moderate rebels who were trying to remove the assad regime, now since 2013 these moderate rebels with funding and weapons from the united states government have no -- are no longer
moderate rebels, they're isis, it's the same group of people. all we are trying to do remove assad regime the same we remove ed gaddafi, it's the same playu book, can you let me know if i'm wrong? >> guest: syria is a complicated issue. i'm not quite sure i understand the point of the call. i think they factor a position for some period of time is not being the immediate removal of assad because if you look at two of the most powerful players in syria are isis and affiliate. russia's main goal is preservation of assad. there are a lot of different players here and unfortunately
the -- the syrian civil war was a lot of academic literature the war is going for, typically 10-15 years on average since world war ii, we are in year five. thes. syrians say we can go on more more than a decade, the civil war in colombia with la farc went on for five decades and the people who could put the brakes on him don't seem incline to do so. the iranians, gulf states, russia, i mean, they're all sort of for a formenting this. going back to foreign fighters and westerners going to syria, the engine in the syrian war and, i think, we are going to continue seeingg thousands of foreign fighters going to syria from around the arab world and many continues from the west to go to training. >> host: peter bergen an author
and employed by cnn, he's the international security program director and vice president, mark is in lake geneva, florida, mark, you have to turn the volume down. we are going to move to another mark. mark in south carolina, independent line. hello, mark. thank you for c-span. i want to disagree with a premise of mr. bergen book subtitle. homegrown terrorism is really starts can radical christianity. soso i just wondered if he's talking about homegrown radical or terrorism, does he mention in his book, does he talk about
terrorism at people at home, kkk, does he talk about bombing and killing people, abortion clinics, you know, does he bring that up? it's not quite fair to talk about homegrown terrorism -- >> host: mark. >> guest: a good point and i address it in the book. 48 americans are being killed by antigovernment fanatics, antiabortion, nazis since 9/11, jihadi terrorism in actual 9/11. that's the subject of the book.
there was a lot of political violence. >> host: peter bergen do you use the term radicalism. >> militant islam more. you know, i understand his reasoning. the more he says it, the more that we are at war can islam, and, of course, we are not, and the fact is also the fact that it has nothing to do with a particular reading, karan is not a book, it's the word of god.
when he declared war of the united states he cited a verse in the karan. so the crusades had something to the with christianity and the settlers of palestinians had to do in palestine. these are religious believes. this has something to do with islam. the good news is that one of the people i talk on the book, also from northern virginia, the person in cases and how does he do that? he's able to make from an islamic perspective that isis doesn't represent some kind of version of islam and he's been
successful. >> host: meeting president obama. when you met osama bin laden in 1997, what was your impression then? >> guest: my impression he was talking about at the time, you know, the leader was meeting with bill clinton in the white house, he made observations about him. you know, pretty well informed of what's going on in the world. we met him and, you know,
>> c-span washington journal live every day with news on issues that impact you. coming up tomorrow morning we will discus the national governor's association taking place this weekend in washington. governor harry herbert of utah, be sure to watch c-span washington journal beginning 7:00 eastern tomorrow. >> coming up on book tv sean shield on the life of harper lee. later election of 1896 and resident today. .. while.