tv WJ Peter Bergen- US Homegrown Terrorism CSPAN March 20, 2017 3:24am-4:03am EDT
to have the time to do it. >> senator leahy, thank you's much. >> today, live coverage of the confirmation hearing of judge gorsuch. it begins at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span two. it is expected to last at least three days. you can also find it online at c-span.org, listen to the hearing on the c-span radio app, and we will repair it monday night at 8:30 p.m. eastern time on c-span2. now, aiscussion on homegrown terrorism in the united states from washington journal. this is about 35 minutes. st: we went to welcome back author peter bergen. his new book in paperback now, "united states of jihad: investigating america's homegrown terrorists." good sunday morning. let me go to a premise of your
book. you wrote "even as it was losing ground, the number of isis inspired attacks in the west increased. the loss of territory appear to have little effect to influence americans like omar mateen. this will be isis's legacy in the united states: the crowdsourcing of jihad, so that can convertr mateen personal grievances into what they believe is a righteous holy war." isis is a problem of -- i was in iraq last week. lose syria, other capitals, but isis exists because of problems in the middle east and related problems in the west. regional civil war between the
shia and sunni, the collapse of governments, econoes, and the problems massive wave of immigration, in europe, it is creating a lot of problems. are shielded from this in the united states. that is not the case in europe. we still have people like omar killed 39orlando who wasle, and radicalization over the internet with discuss on all these bands. the internet is not subject to a travel ban. the trump administration has to aup with a solution problem that doesn't access to. the problem that exists, as my builds 400rates, cases since 9/11 that jihadi terrorist ranging from the
serious to less serious. four out of five are american citizens. very cute refugees, maybe one doesn't. refugees,few are maybe one doesn't. if you want to do something about the problem, you have to think about this problem and up the question of will people from syria who are refugees become terrorists? because there's evidence it will. host: how does the intelligence commity deal with it? guest: it is tough. we live in the rule of law country, luckily. we cannot designate everybody. the fbi has limited resources, although a lot, but it cannot -- anybody who goes to the isis website is not necessarily a terrorist, so the fbi has ongoing investigations and many will not pan out. i think the fbi and the
intelligence community does a pretty good job but by the bob averages, someone will get through. in san bernardino, we sought a couple killed 14 people in an office meeting. they were unknown to the fbi. many ineen killed orlando and had been interviewed by the fbi twice. people have come to the they somewhat interfere with the plan. book let me go back to the in the moment and there is talk of sending u.s. troops to syria to try and battle isis. what would ground troops mean? guest: i think it has already happened. a small number of marines are there and there could be a lot, 2500 in the forward position and i think right now, the idea is these courses were not
necessarily engage in ground combat the way we think about it but they would be more force of block of the possibility of forces in syria fighting each other because we have lots of people fighting against isis and we are not sending a large number of ground troops to syria. casualties to some degree, but i mean the number of forces is limited now. host: in the premise of your book, you mentioned technology. your smartphon has so much information about where you are searching and the dates between apple and fbi, your own security versus the nation security. guest: i come down with apple for the following reasons and the not alone in this, the most
successful part of our economy is the high-tech sector, and it on the promise it gives customers that your data and information is going to be secure. if you build a backdoor into -- onesnds of phones you insert a backdoor, other people can exploit it. has a strongly held field that it once backdoors -- wants backdoors into these things, but you don't want to undercut the most successful part of the american economy. you may recall the omar mateen case in the san bernardino case, a phone they were looking at and the fbi was able to open it without the help of the fund company. the fbi has resources.
fbi, by the way, or the interesting things about my book is what turns out to be the mo t useful thing for law enforcement, -- the most useful things for law enforcement are developing informants, offering people plea bargains, traditional law enforcement is quite a powerful tool. "united states of jihad," and our guest is , frequently seen on cnn. we will go back to an excerpt of the book and get near response. you wrote --
is one of the more sobering conclusions of the book, which is we're looking at a group of people who are ordinary americans, not a large group, but not far from here in virginia, an army psychiatrist was warned killed dozens of and it doesn't get more middle-class american then an army major, psychiatrist, born in arlington, virginia, yet, he carried out this terrible attack. he did not have great trauma. his parents did die when he was relatively young. there'slt of that, but no one-size-fits-all reason of
why people engage in these kinds of things. some people claim it is the religion and religion has something to do it this. usually, it is other things. the major in many ways was someone whose life did not work at very well, he was about to be 40, not married, no children, no friends to speak of, and in a between fort hood, this was a way for him to become a hero in his own story. i kept finding that we all want to be heroes in their own story. we went meaning in our lives. often, these guys, in the 1970's, there would have joined some revolutionary measure, but there are not many revolutionary ideologies left and this is one of them. -- coming of jihadist this figure.
host: there hundred 50 americans charged since 9/11, the average age 29, or that one third are married and more than half cap children. my research team looked this before the san bernardino attack. the attackers were married, they ,ad a child, 28, 29 roughly middle-class jobs, earning $70,000 per year. mateen in orlando, same kind of profile, 28, a couple , in some, the kid ways, you would think they something to look for but it turns out for one reason or another, they decided to sacrifice themselves. host: we welcome those glistening on c-span radio and potus channel 124, if you are watching on the bbc parliament channel, we welcome
you. the area code. 748-8000 for democrats. for republicans. michelle from wisconsin, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. fact calling about the where these cemeteries are being vandalized and everything. i have not heard any more about what our country is doing and investigating these crimes because it is just pretty sad that people have that mentality to go into these cemeteries and destruct these headstones host: and everything. thank you -- headstones and everything. host: thank you. a little off-topic. guest: i will not go into specifics, but the fbi is aggressive and all forms of pay crimes and i can imagine they
are investigating these. host: dale from sebastian, florida. good morning. caller: good morning, steve. i would like what [indiscernible] are the mercenaries and who funds your research? host: thank you. who funds your research? guest: the book was published by crown books, which is a major part of penguin random house, the largest of which are in the world and their work where we get research money from institutions. it is on the website rather than going through detail. if people are interested, you can find all of that on our website. some are corporations, individuals, and they all contribute. host: i want to go back to the
capture and killing of bin laden, which seems to be a fascinating story put together, thr for cnn. out he was found there, not 100% certainty, but a stock since they would get him. guest: i talked to pretty much everyone involved, except the had aent, and they all fairly uniform take, whether it was the chairman of the joint chiefs, or the admiral in charge of the operation, and other people in the cabinet, they basically -- at the end of the day, our system is the commander-in-chief makes these decisions. it is not -- there is not a but there were many cabinet meetings in the case of the bin laden decision, but at the end of the day, it is the commander-in-chief decision.
it was not clear it he was in the compound. some people felt the evidence but it didrect, 10%, not matter. at the end of the day, he is either 100% there or not there. you are making important theidential decisions on environment of information. kennedy with the cuban miss out low, buthe stakes were it was the same decision-making process, where the president is a lonely place to be and he made the decision. if yet madeunts, the decision, he would have .aid, let's not do it or wait bob gates, the secretary of defense who started working when president obama was 12, also s
against it. late in the game, he said we should do this after the decision was taken. we all know how it turned out. say, hey, i would have made the same. host: did you go? guest: i went twice. it was hard to get into the compound, which is controlled by a pakistani military intelligence unit. my wife and i went once together to pakistan. my wife is very persuasive. i went three times to try and get in. youthird time i said, look, really must sort of -- i hope you are serious about lead in the, so i got into the compound two weeks before it was demolished and they did not tell me it was going to be demolished , but it was interesting to see how he lived. host: how big was it? guest: it was big, probably a
one acre compound, nearly substantial house with outbuildings, the main house, and smaller outer buildings, where one of the bodyguards lived. it was not by any stretch of the imagination a palace in the sense of people were living or growing their own crops. chickens, they could basically almost live off of their things in the compound. it helped them with security so they did not need to go out to buy things. it was not living large. there was no air-conditioning. they were living on rudimentary beds. it was almost like camping out in a substantial building. host: let's go to baltimore. good morning with peter bergen and his new book "the united
states of jihad." caller: good morning. as a vietnam veteran, i was there in 1968. we were there while they bombed all day and all night and the next day they did the same thing. it is because you cannot kill an idea. the confederacy is still around. germany are still around. they killed martin luther king inking they would stop the civil rights movements. that did not stop anything. this is an idea, not the person or anything you can kill off with bombs, guns or nuclear weapons. .uest: i agree with the caller killing the man is not like killing the idea. bin laden has been did five itrs, now six years, and
changes the discussion after his death, between arab spring, the death of bin laden and other leaders of al qaeda, it looked like jihadism would have been the second problem but that was wrong. faith to someof of these and we can make a it willl rule which is be whether it suffices al qaeda or other right minded groups, so countries like libya or syria, you have got a strong presence. that goes back to what i was underlyingch is the political problems that cause isis have not gotten away. if iraq continues to be a place where sunnis feel excluded, and syria is a place where they continued to be threatened by assad, if muslims are not integrated better in europe, this would continue. just in paris in the last four hours, a guy tried to shoot a
and he was not able to carry out his plan. we will continue this thing, particularly in europe, where you have 1500 french citizens who have gone to syria to get training. in belgium, 700 50. other european countries, similar movements. if united states, we have seen some people join isis, probably a couple of dozen, maybe four getn who have managed to there. most of them it is a one-way ticket and they are not coming back. have seen no, we examples of americans going to syria, getting trained and coming back to carry out an attack and we have not seen the people coming out or going out of syria who have been trained by isis who are plotting an attack in a serious manner, so that is good news. bad news is i don't think we will s middle east peace break
out anytime soon. don't think we will see a situation where muslims will be better integrated. in the book, i say 8% of the population is muslim in france, but an estimated 6% in prison is muslim. that is a trigger showing how marginalized and alienated a lot of french muslims are and they ed off and have a reason to be. if you have the same qualifications as a christian family name, this is a group of people who is often marginalized . isis is going to create the son of isis. i don't know what it looks like, it may not be successful but what i'm saying doesn't advocate the idea but it is important to do what we are doing. isis is losing and that is great because it makes them less attractive. people don't recruit through
group losing, they recruit to group winning. the number of people joining isis in the west has dropped off and that is good, but the political issues that have created this group in the first place are unlikely to be fixed soon. host: our conversation is with peter bergen, written a number of books, including "the osama bin laden i know," and back in :001, the book "holy war inc. inside the secret world of bin laden." in seattle, washington, good morning. caller: good morning. i appreciate the program and the ability to ask questions. i was curious in your research of what you found. when i see a lot of these attacks, the first thing that think of is where did they get these ideas? were they finding them on the internet or was that perhaps somebody at their mosque?
if you look at any other influence and the prevalence of money and financing more radical ideologies and mosques, and have you made any connections or seeing any common threads there? guest: very good question. what we are seeing, myself and my research team, is overwhelmingly, ukulele in the last two years or three years -- particularly in the last two or three years, the are getting ideas from the internet. often, mosques in this country turn out to be -- they will often have a conversation with someone who is trying to get , and theove aside mosque is not the place where they get these ideas.
someone who plays a big role, born in new mexico, worked not in the mosque in southern virginia, study for his phd in washington, d.c., bright guy, local american, and he was killed by a drone strike in 2011, but even in death, his ing backngered, linger to the previous phone call, he shows up in many cases years back to his death because in colloquial american english, he is able to save jihad is a duty, one of the things he said, and he lays out what some people find a compelling case about why and should carry out acts it is in english. this is one of the new things as i recorded a book, if you go back five beers or 10 years, a
lot of these ideas were on password-protected forums, in arabic, and very, very high propaganda videos and all this veryw and unfortunately, host: attractive to some people. now out in -- attractive to some people. host: now out in paperback, "united states of jihad: investigating america's homegrown terrorists and had we stop them." let's go to james, rhode island. caller: i do love your book "american jihad." my question is what the groups around the world like the eu, the muslims groups, major groups, what are we doing for the countries that are holding or allowing these jihads or isis surviving their own country, as well as america with the ku klux klan, the skinheads?
they're still surviving in america. i would like to know what you think about it and what more information you can share. host: thank you, james. states, ithe united is interesting, the department of justice about two years or three years ago had high-level people look at domestic separated from jihadist terrorism. when we talk about jihadist forgetsm, we sometimes that there is medical violence in this country for other reasons having to do with jihad. right wing neo-nazi, the caller mentioned skinheads, we have had people being killed in the name of neo-nazi beliefs in this country and we are beginning to see a return to the 1970's,
where you have got this far leftist violence. we live in a polarized political situation, so anticipate that not only will we continue to see this, but other forms of political violence and it is something the fbi is concerned about. host: this is the headline available at national review.com, trump's revised travel ban is one of many good developments in the war against jihadist. he writes -- "the revised travel ally i rock and includes the virtues of the first then while eliminating the confusion that led to its arbitrary, cruel and incompetent and limitation. in the wake of the news that up to 300 refugees are under investigation, it is prudent to pause refugee entry for a few months to review our vetting process." guest: i don't know what the 600 number comes from, but i can say
your people under investigation often does not pan out. in fact, since 9/11, there's not a single case of the syrian refugee being involved in any form of terrorism. that is not surprising because we have only seen 15,000 of them. the united states has taken 0.2% of refugees. the last thing i would do if i was a terrorist trying to get into the country is pose as a syrian refugee. i it would take me two years and military aged males are not part of this group. the majority are women and children. ban and the temporary ban from these countries is a red herring. at the 94 people who have been killed by jihad terrorism does not come from these countries, nor do their families. it is hard to imagine -- it is
like saying, we have a problem in this country with gangs who originate in central america, and we will ban travel from canada, chile and argentina to deal with it. it makes no sense. add to that that the vector of the people in radicalized is the internet. the internet does not respond to travel bans or visa regimes or any of this. this is a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. it is like for filling a campaign promise, but i would be looking at this subject for a long time. the real problem, whether in france, with a have french citizens radicalizing french citizens, there may be second or third generation. the problem in this group is we have a group of citizens who are radicalized.
the issue is certainly not refugees. and the issue of the six , there aren the list two problems, the constitutional problem, and hawaii judge said it was a problem and there is evidentiary problem, which this is not really solving the problem we went to solve. it is managing to alienate all sorts of people we want to have on our side. get information about someone who is radicalizing, according to the fbi's research of the issue, and people who most likely know our family members and peers. we went to enlist them -- we want to enlist them to say that it -- by the way, this is not just about jihadist terrorism, it could be about anything. people who buy weapons, people most likely to know something is going on, whether a school shooter or jihadi terrorist or andne intent on violence
how they appear to family members, and we went to get them to help us. host: let's go to matt in maryland, republican line. good morning. ller: my comment -- i am current u.s. military, but one thing that strikes me is he made the point that women and are refugees and he talked about how a lot of the refugees get radicalized. guarantee that none of these children of these refugees are going to be radicalized 15 years down the road? host: what about that? guest: who knows? i hope not. this is a form of the arguments. say as another that we number of italians become members of the mafia.
the country does not say, well, we will let italians and because maybe a percentage will become part of the mafia. if we said that, we would not have frank sinatra, andrew cuomo , so many kind americans who have contributed to our country. idea that we are going to ban people on the possibility that a tiny percentage might adopt jihadi terrorist ideas is an american, a non-american idea. from texas,aller cynthia, independent line. good morning. caller: are you there? host: we are. caller: all right. a lot of people would say that president obama was a great president, but when bin laden was killed, the information he , there were a lot of
meetings, and he did not jump on it. no one gave him credit and always said he was weak, and there were other people that they captured or killed and no one gave him credit on that. trumpen when president came in office, just a few days in office, he sent out the navy seals on the mission and one was killed and he said, well, it started under the obama administration. i don't think president obama would send them out and it would be safe for them to go in there like they did. when presidentw trump would not take credit, we all know he takes credit for anything. host: let's talk about yemen.
guest: the caller raises interesting points. the yemen operation -- one of -- key points about yemen obviously, it is a dangerous place, the most heavily armed place in the world. everyone has an ak-47. when you do a military operation, a ground operation, you want to process the risk. before this operation that trump authorized, there have only been to u.s. navy seal operations in yemen and they were hostage rescue operations. you have the clock ticking and there is a reason you do it. , they took operation a risk. any military operation, people will die essentially, so that isn't unusual, but was it necessary?
could a drone strike achieve that? i don't know enough about it, unqualifiedot an success. it was not an unqualified failure, but it seemed to have been -- the decision to place on generate 25th. the trump administration was in office in five days and it seemed to have taken place over dinner, that is unusual. usually it takes place in the situation room, multilevel, layered decision-making process. i think historians will look at raid, we still don't know enough about it, but could you have waited another month and gathered more intelligence? was there a drumbeat urgency of doing it then? one of the reasons they didn't on genera 28 is there was -- on january 28 is there is no moon that night.
well, every month there is no moon, so i that night? it did not work out the way it was intended. the u.s. navy seal was killed, 10 civilians, including women and children so it did not go as planned. host: mary, you get the last call in california. thanks for waiting. good morning. caller: good morning. thank for c-span "washington journal." i would like to ask mr. bergen to speak on our prisons and how there is a radicalization going on all the time. what we could do, what we could do educationally or something in the prisons to stop at lea that pnt of self radicalization. thank you very much. guest: prison radicalization and united states has a problem that that -- that is big.
in belgian, you have this situation. if you look at the attacks in brussels, everyone has been through the french prison system. in this country, we don't have the same issue. it is a relatively small issue. groupss not large-scale of people getting radicalized. host: his latest book is "united states of jihad: investigating america's homegrown terrorists ?"d how do we stop them what mary's you the most when you research this? guest: why would an american citizen sign up for something that at its heart kills american soldiers? that is a puzzle. and ies a philosopher think it is a useful way of thinking, there's no simple answer to the question.
ideology,rievances, some kind of opening to these going something maybe not right in this person's life, somebody wanting to be a hero in their own story. each of us is very personal as e would make the decision about killing a stranger. i listed all of these cases and said, this is the evidence we have. at the end of the day, that is a mysterious question. host: peter bergen