Steven Emerson, one of the nation’s leading terrorism experts, states it appropriately when he says that “only by knowing how the terrorists’ networks operate…can we be vigilant in detecting any new activity.

There are at least three significant foreign Islamic terror groups operating in America today: Hamas, al Qaeda, and PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad.)

These groups receive support from, and give it to, countries such as Sudan, Egypt, and Afghanistan. They are here for the sole purpose of attacking America and Americans right here in our homeland, and they were getting more successful at it until the increased efforts of the Bush administration in the post-9/11 world slowed them.

But they have not stopped, they continue to plot and plan and make attempts, and without continued strong security and intelligence on our part they will succeed again, probably on an even larger scale than 9/11.

Emerson has divided the terrorists activities into four categories: recruitment, fund-raising/money-laundering, networking, and direct organization.

In recruiting, the Islamofascists love to find willing participants in Jihad who already hold American passports, at times finding these people among naturalized U.S. citizens of Middle Eastern descent. People who can generally travel freely into and out of the country, and within the country, with little suspicion.

Other recruitment, orientation, and indoctrination can come from websites and newspapers, and the terrorists actively use our freedoms against us. We cannot stop anyone from preaching violence unless a standard of “clear and present danger” is met.

As Emerson states, “We cannot stop groups from gathering to share their political views, even if one of those views is that the U.S. must be destroyed.”

In the areas of fund-raising and money-laundering, there have been conferences held right here on U.S. soil in which attendees were exhorted to directly donate at that time to fund the Jihad.

Other times, charities such as the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development have made appeals for donations to support widows and orphans of the Middle East conflict, never telling the donors that the funds would go to fight and support continued Jihadist activities.

They have smuggled contraband cigarettes for funding as well. Some have participated in sham marriages to gain citizenship.

Networking can be accomplished by using organizations such as CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and MAYA (Muslim Arab Youth Association) among others with legitimate sounding names.

These organizations may often publicly preach one message, while their members often exhibit what Emerson calls “contrary behaviors” in collaborating and facilitating the work of terrorists. Emerson rightly feels that these organizations must take responsibility for the things that take place at their conferences.

Direct organizing has at times been accomplished by what Emerson has called “terror networks operating under their own names” such as the ARC (Advice & Reform Committee), formed under direct orders by Osama bin Laden to the man indicted in the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania back in 1998. Though ARC was never incorporated in the U.S., it kept two mailing addresses here in Denver and Kansas City.

The fact remains that the vast majority of Muslims here in America are peaceful and genuinely moderate, subscribing to what Emerson describes as “the strong Islamic tradition of tolerance and human dignity.”

And yet it is the extremists who continue to have the most influence simply because they are the most active. That activism, combined with the funding of Saudi Arabian subscribers to Wahhabism, which supports the spread of Islam through violence, has led to what a prominent cleric has stated has been a takeover of “more than 80% of the mosques that have been established in the U.S.”

It is clear that the mix of radical idealism, Saudi cash, willing naturalized recruits, and modern technology are placing America in danger.

Despite stronger intelligence capabilities thanks to efforts such as The Patriot Act, the infiltration of America is well under way. It is important that we all know this, and remain awake and aware to any emergence in our own communities through schools, mosques, community centers, and other outlets.

It is also important that we recognize the successful role that this Act and other law enforcement and intelligence efforts have played in keeping us relatively safe since 9/11, and that we continue to support these efforts and the politicians who will continue their implementation.

NOTE: all pieces in this ‘Islamism Series’ can be viewed through the below Tag