Radical Islam expert Brigitte Gabriel says ISIS is capable of anything from shopping mall shooting sprees to nuclear attacks in the United States and believes the best way to ward off calamity is for Americans to wake up their elected officials and demand they “throw political correctness in the garbage can” and confront the radical threat as it truly exists.
Gabriel was a victim of terrorism in her native Lebanon. She is founder and president of actforamerica.org and is author of numerous books, including “They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It.” She says the danger to the U.S. posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is significant but says the threat is nothing new.
“We know that radical Islamists have been trying t attack the United States. It doesn’t matter what organization they identify with, whether it’s Al Qaeda or ISIS or whatever name du jour that’s exciting and dominating the news,” said Gabriel. “Since President Obama became president, we have arrested on American soil 226 home grown terrorists. And that was before ISIS.”
She does acknowledge a significant difference with ISIS: the deep pockets of the terrorist army. Gabriel says those kind of resources can finance a whole lot of trouble for the U.S. and other western nations.
“ISIS has their hands on biological weapons. They have captured the oil fields. They have their hands on nuclear material. And they certainly have the money to be able to buy the technology to put missiles together with nukes on top of them or be able to smuggle something into our country. We cannot afford to let our president, even though he is blind to the issue, to let the issue go ignored,” said Gabriel, who adds that ISIS can strike a devastating psychological blow to Americans with far less complicated plots.
“It doesn’t take a mega-attack. All they need is a few crazies to strap bombs to their bodies and walk into malls in different states across the United States. That would literally strike terror in the hearts of Americans,” she said.
The Obama administration and many other public officials and organizations are taking great pains to insist ISIS does not speak for Islam or any other religion. Gabriel says Islam and radicalism are seamlessly intertwined throughout the past 1,400 years.
“They are basing their actions on the words of the Quran. What IS is doing right now is no different than what Prophet Mohammed himself did,” she said.
“They are using scriptures from the Quran. For example Quran 8:12 talks about striking fear into the hearts of disbelievers. Therefore, cut off their fingers and toes because they disobeyed Allah. So what ISIS is doing is no different than what any other group or devout followers of the Quran will do,” said Gabriel.
She says we’ve seen with numerous radical Muslim groups just since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Gabriel pointed to mass executions and stonings in Afghan soccer arenas by the Taliban, the Al Qaeda beheading of Daniel Pearl, the terrorist beheadings of Nick Berg and 35 other people in just one year in Iraq and the horrific murders, rapes, abductions and church burnings carried out by Boko Haram in Nigeria.
“When you look at these different groups across the world, whether they are Al Shabab in Somalia, or Boko Haram in Nigeria, or Lashkar-e-Taiba in India, or Hamas in Gaza, or Hezbollah in Lebanon or Al Qaeda. The name doesn’t matter. They all are operating out of the same manual, sharing the same ideology and the same goal,” said Gabriel.
Speaking of Hamas, Gabriel says the recently announced cease-fire in Gaza is nothing but a chance for the terrorists to regroup and eventually pose a greater threat than before.
“Israel has got to decapitate Hamas and destroy its infrastructure. Otherwise, Hamas is going to come back stronger than ever. It may take them a year, two years, three years. They’re going to come back and we’re going to see the same thing,” said Gabriel.
Act for America is hosting its annual security conference in Washington, a three-day event beginning on Septmeber 11. Gabriel says our elected officials need to understand the gravity of the terrorist threat facing our country and the urgency with which it must be confronted. However, she says it’s up to the American people to make sure Washington takes notice and takes decisive action.
“The American public must come together and put pressure on our elected officials to throw political correctness in the garbage where it belongs and start speaking the truth about the threats we are facing,” said Gabriel. “(We need to) remind our elected officials as to the importance of securing the United States, securing American lives, protecting American cities and doing what is right to fight evil.”
Part of that, says Gabriel, is working to thwart the rise of home grown terrorists. She says rudderless young people are especially attracted to the cause.
“What we’re suffering in the west today is the lack of structure in the family, the lack of guidance. Many families are broken. Young people feel disenfranchised,” said Gabriel. “What Islam offers is a way to tell you how to live your life, down to the simple things and how many times you can wash your hands and how many times to pray and everything to that detail. That’s what they’re attracted to.
“A lot of people are also resentful of America. A lot of the youth are very easily drawn to very attractive recruitment videos on the internet,” said Gabriel, noting that ISIS is even recruiting people most would consider the least likely to join their cause.
“Right now ISIS is focused on recruiting women on the internet, offering them safety and security and stability and a home life if they would come and marry a jihadist and take care of a jihadist’s needs,” she said.