OTR Interviews

Krauthammer: ISIS self-financed, 'not your run-of-the-mill enemy ... cruelty alone is not going to defeat them'

Syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor on Sean Hannity's fiery interview with Imam who threatened Sharia law was 'coming to a town near you'


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 28, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: My colleague, Sean Hannity, blasting a radical British imam after the imam threatened that, quote, "Sharia Law is coming to a place near you."



SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST, 'HANNITY': And I don't want Sharia Law. And neither does anybody in Great Britain.

ANJEM CHOUDARY, RADICAL BRITISH IMAM: Well, you don't have a choice. I assure you, it's coming to a place near you. It's coming to a place near you.

HANNITY: So you are threatening to come to get me, is that what you are saying?

CHOUDARY: I saying that Sharia Law will be in the whole world.


HANNITY: That's what you want.


HANNITY: You didn't answer my question. You want a worldwide Islamic caliphate?

CHOUDARY: Of course, we do. Of course, we do.

HANNITY: You want to worldwide Islamic caliphate?


CHOUDARY: -- the law.

HANNITY: And you want Islam to rule the world.


CHOUDARY: -- been promised by the messenger --


HANNITY: And infidels should be destroyed and done with? Infidels, good-bye.

CHOUDARY: You will be liberated from the shackles of manmade laws. Let's me tell you --


HANNITY: I don't need to be liberated by Islam. I'm a Christian.


VAN SUSTEREN: And Charles Krauthammer, author of "Things that Matter," on the "New York Times" best-seller list before I came to FOX 12 and a half years ago, joins us.

Nice to see you, Charles.


VAN SUSTEREN: I'm very well.

Charles, Sharia Law is "coming to a place near you." Just bravado or do you think he believes it or is it a real threat?

KRAUTHAMMER: It's both. It's all three. I'm sure it's bravado. I'm sure he believes it. I do think sort of the essence of what's happening when we confront either al Qaeda or ISIL is that they do have a messianic impulse. I would apply that it that to the regime in Iran, which is apparently more civilized and it contains itself in public and it pretends to be pragmatic. But these are people who believe in the ends of days, and what they are doing -- the cruelty, the threats, the conquests -- are going to hasten the end of days. That's what makes them dangerous. That's -- the president leaves out the religious element of this. He talks about extremists. What does that mean? There's all kinds of extremism. This is a specific type of extremism. It's an element, it's a wing of perhaps small but none the less determined one of religion. When you are propelled by religion, the belief in the Almighty, that gives you a power and a determination that is unusual. It's not the run-of-the-mill enemy.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know if we have a caliphate yet. I think we have some something pretty close if we don't in Syria and Iraq. But if we don't, how do we prevent ISIS from getting one? And if they do get one, but then what? What does that mean?

KRAUTHAMMER: I don't think they can or they will hang on to it for two reasons. Much the cruelty is almost unfathomable. There is a story today, I believe in the "Wall Street Journal," about what they have done in the Mosul to the point where Sunnis in Mosul, who welcomed ISIS because of the way the Shiite army of Maliki had treated the Sunnis, they were happy to see the Shiites scattered. But within weeks of the amputations, the assassinations --

VAN SUSTEREN: Public amputations.

KRAUTHAMMER: Public. And they --

VAN SUSTEREN: Public executions.

KRAUTHAMMER: And they make children watch this. I think there is exactly as happened in Anbar. One of the reasons you had the Anbar awakening, one of the reasons we won the war in Iraq and ended the civil war was because the Sunnis in Anbar turned against al Qaeda in Iraq. And that, I think, is likely to happen again if we keep on the pressure.

VAN SUSTEREN: The different dimensions here, I think, is the money. They are filthy rich and it's just pouring in over the transom. Does that change the dynamic?

KRAUTHAMMER: It does. They are now the first terrorists ever who don't rely on money from the outside. 95 percent of their funds are generated internally from extortion, gangsterism, so-called taxation, and capture of resources. They actually sell oil in northern Syria with the connivance of Assad, which shows you how Assad is are playing a double game. So they are self-financed, which has never happened before, and that makes them a major threat. The cruelty alone is not going to defeat them. They need pressure from the outside. That means the U.S., the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Free Syrian Army, what's left of it, and others. We will see if Obama can actually muster them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Charles, nice to see you, sir.

KRAUTHAMMER: Pleasure to be here.