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Was 9/11 the Start of a 50-Year Religious War?

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," July 20, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: The father of the 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta (search) is praising the bombings in London and says his son's attack was the start of a 50-year religious war.

Joining us now is Bill Daly, former FBI investigator and senior vice president of Control Risks Group, a security consulting firm.

So, this is Mohamed Atta's father. He said this to a reporter. He wouldn't do the interview on videotape unless he got $5,000 payment. And he told the reporter, if I get the $5,000, I'm going to give it to a bomber to go blow up some Brits or Americans. What does this tell us?

BILL DALY, FORMER FBI INVESTIGATOR: Well, first of all, John, this is a far cry from the father of Mohamed Atta we saw after 9/11 (search), who just couldn't believe it and was in total denial and said, "It couldn't be my son," to where we have somebody today who is out there proclaiming and supporting this cause, this horrendous terrorist cause.

So, I think what we're seeing is somebody who may be having some, you know, this whole change in personality as a result of dealing with his son being involved.

GIBSON: But could it be that he's reflecting what Egyptians are thinking and the problem is a whole lot worse in our friend Egypt (search) than we thought?

DALY: Well, I don't know if it's just Egypt. But I think he's suggesting that this is a very long war. It's something that is now recruiting young people, like we've seen in London, outside of London, where we have people in their 20s and just turning 30 who are getting into this fundamentalist belief, who want to kill themselves at a young age for this.

And he's suggesting that this is something that is going to go on and on.

GIBSON: What did you think of our last guest, who said, "Oh, this is bad; we condemn bombing, but, you know, it's really the fault of the people who constructed this foreign policy and, if you would just change your policy, you'd have less problems with bombers"?

DALY: Well, certainly, it sounds like an attempt to change policy as a result of terrorist attacks.

GIBSON: Blackmail.

DALY: As opposed to exactly what it is. These are horrendous acts against mankind and can't be tolerated.

GIBSON: But did we just actually hear a blackmail threat? If you don't stop this, you're going to get more of it?

DALY: Well, I didn't hear it exactly that way. But the subtlety of it was that, if policy changes, maybe these will go away. But I don't believe, John, that even if that policy changes, it goes away.

The fundamental causes of these terrorist acts go much deeper and it goes into how these people are recruited and why they're so susceptible at a young age. And maybe we need to look at some of those issues, whether it's employment, whether it's having people more ingrained into the society they're in. But it's troubling that three out of these four terrorists in London were born and raised there.

GIBSON: Do your people in your business believe Mohamed Atta's father is right, that it's a 50-year war?

DALY: I believe that it is a protracted war. I think 50 years is something to stun everyone, to have people thinking that this is going to go on — on to our children and our children's children. I don't believe that. I believe we can come to a quicker resolution.

But it's something, John, that we realize it's not going to be a signed declaration on the stern of an aircraft carrier or something where we have a piece of parchment. The end of terrorism will be the sign that no more occurs.

GIBSON: Bill Daly, a security consultant. Bill Daly, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

DALY: Thank you, John.

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