Andrew C. McCarthy led the prosecution team in the 1995 terrorism trial of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the Blind Sheik.) He was able to get the sheik and eleven others convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. After the September 11 attacks he supervised the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Terrorism Command Post in New York City. From 1999 until his resignation in 2003, he worked as a Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Justice Department in New York. NewsRealBlog interviewed him about his books and terrorism.
NewsRealBlog: You have written two books. What point did you make in your first book, Willful Blindness: Memoir of the Jihad?
Andrew C. McCarthy: It was about how inept the national security problem is being conducted. National security is being treated as a court case not as a security problem. This book was about terrorism.
NRB: Why did you write your most recent book, The Grand Jihad?
McCarthy: I wanted to wake Americans up to understand the threat is not just about terrorism but a broader challenge to Western Civilization. I am not making a judgment but am just reporting what they say. I felt it was necessary to write about the violent Jihad.
NRB: In the book you address it as a serious problem. Why?
McCarthy: The movement is not a fringe problem. The Muslim Brotherhood sees themselves as the true representative of true Islam. It sees itself as the mainstream of Islamic thought.
NRB: What did you mean by the sub-title of your latest book, How Islam and the Left Sabotage America?
McCarthy: A 1991 Muslim Brotherhood internal memorandum describes their mission of Grand Jihad as to destroying America from within by sabotage.
NRB: Do explain this threat in your book?
McCarthy: In chapter two I talk about the ideology that says Sharia Law is indivisible. Islamic ideology does not recognize divisions between the spiritual and the secular. It’s not a faith like we understand faith in the West. It’s a full purpose, comprehensive, economic system with its own legal code. The basic premise is that they are duty bound to spread Islam and destroy the West.
NRB: What about those Muslims that don’t instigate violence?
McCarthy: The bottom line is the tactics. We cannot take the position that you are a moderate as long as you are not blowing up buildings. If they want to impose Sharia Law instead of the US Constitution that is an extreme not a moderate attitude. Those that leave the door open for resistance is terrorism by a different name; just a weaker one. They want the same thing as the terrorists; for our society to be drastically changed and to impose Sharia.
NRB: Do you think there are moderate Muslims?
McCarthy: What we need to do is separate the real moderates from the phony moderates. The real moderates are those who embrace US and Western culture. There are millions of Muslims who are obviously tolerant and came to the West because they don’t want to live in Sharia society. We want these people to win if they are moderate and peaceful. Take for example Indonesia where they practice a fairly moderate version of Islam which separates the spiritual from the secular.
NRB: Do you think you are getting your point across?
McCarthy: No. The best example is the mass murder at Fort Hood. Twice as many people were killed there than 17 years ago at the First World Trade Center bombing. In ’93 when the WTC bombing happened no one was hesitant to say it was a Jihadist attack. Everyone called it a terrorist attack. Everyone around the Fort Hood murderer knew where he was coming from, yet we have a Government that would rather have a collective root canal than to say it had anything to do with Islam or that it was motivated by Jihad.
NRB: How should we get people to be concerned?
McCarthy: The attacks are getting worse yet our inclination to speak about them is getting less and less over time. We need to get people to focus on the ideology. With the Fort Hood incident there was a lengthy Pentagon report that doesn’t mention Jihad, doesn’t mention Islam, and doesn’t mention Al Qaeda.
NRB: Didn’t the Blind Sheik try to legitimize Sharia Law by trying to use it as a defense?
McCarthy: His defense was that his activity should be excused because he was merely performing in the traditional role of the Muslim cleric. That defense was swiftly rejected in court on the grounds that Sharia is not the law of the US. You cannot exercise your religion if you violate our laws.