OTR Interviews

Inside the growing reach of terror networks worldwide

Terror networks have been growing rapidly around the world the last few years. Is the US losing the war on terror?

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 8, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Terrorism expert, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, joins us.

Good evening, Doctor.

DR. ZUHDI JASSER, TERRORISM EXPERT & PRESIDENT, AMERICAN ISLAMIC FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY: Good evening, Greta. Great to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Always nice to have you.

First, to you agree with me that this is growing - the number of people growing in terrorist organizations? If so, why is it growing?

JASSER: It's certainly growing. You can't doubt that the global terrorism index shows a huge increase in 2013. And '14 is going to be much worse -- attacks in the West in Ottawa and London and Boston and Fort Hood from 2009. Why? It's symptoms. It's not a war against terror. This is a long war against political Islam, an ideology that is not only the state of ISIS but all Islamic states. It's really a problem in that we have not been able to define the narrative. The narrative is that within the House of Islam, there is a push against theocracy.

There is a vacuum created from the Arab awakening. And right now the Middle East has been torn between secular dictators and radical Islam or political Islam and there's no third pathway. American exceptionalism has been pulled out of the picture and withdrawn because of denial and isolationism. In that vacuum - - nature abhors a vacuum and its' being thrilled by global Islamism.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do we stop this and roll this back? Clearly, we are not winning when you look at the growth. How do you roll that back?

JASSER: Once we get past the denial, we address Islamism, jihad. We then begin to create public/private partnerships -- I mean, look at the Cold -- this is bigger than the Cold War. In the Cold War, we had hundreds of experts on Soviet war theory, Communism in the Pentagon and State Department. Right now, you can probably count on one hand, and those are actually covert, who, if they stick their heads out, will be called Islamophobes and targeted by the OIC Islamophobia lobby. We need to start to have a national consensus that the long wars against political Islam -- and Muslims are the greatest assets that want to reform and push back against the clerics and theocrats that are right now dominating our community.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are we in denial or is it we sort of feel overwhelmed? This is a war where your enemies aren't just confined to one spot. I mean, it is all over the globe. You can see that from our graphic. Is it denial or are we overwhelmed and we don't know what to do?

JASSER: I think our country has never been overwhelmed. And we know what is right and what is good, not only for our security but for the world. I think, in the absence of America, the world will suffer the growth of not only dictatorships, like Russia and China, but Islamism will continue to grow into that vacuum. So I think Americans, once they understand what the problem is, will want to solve it. We haven't had a media conversation about it. There hasn't been attention to the pathology so we haven't had the skill set to treat it. But once we do, we will treat it and we will win. But it's a long war. It's not short.

VAN SUSTEREN: Dr. Jasser, thank you, as always, sir.

JASSER: Thank you, Greta. Appreciate it.