Former Al Qaeda-Linked Associates Warn of Future Attacks

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: America's senior intelligence officers testified just last week that an attempt attack on the homeland here in America could happen in the next several months, and they say it's inevitable.

That makes this shocking report out of London even more frightening.

Now, the Christian Broadcast Network's Eric Stakelbeck tracked down several Al Qaeda associates there, not in prison but walking free. Not only that, but some of them are wanted by authorities right here in the U.S. Now, Stakelbeck sat down with some of them.

Now, take a look at the chilling things that they had to say:


ANJEM CHOUDARY, ISLAM4UK SPOKESMAN: I think I the British government are sitting on a tinderbox, ultimately, you know, full of dynamite. And they have the matches in their hand and I think they're being very flippant and not dealing with it properly. It could all blow up in their face and be a very vicious situation.

ERIC STAKELBECK, CBN CORRESPONDENT: Some in the British government might -- might consider that a threat?

CHOUDARY: It's not a threat. It's a warning. It's a reality shock.

NORMAN BENOIMAN, FORMER BIN LADEN CONFIDANTE: If any Muslim appear and he says, "OK, there is no jihad in Islam whatsoever," please believe me, he's a liar. A pure liar, yes. People, they need to face, because it is a serious issue. Jihad, it's part of the Islam. Because it's from even the Koran. There's more than 40 verses in the Koran mention jihad. Not just one, or three or 10.


HANNITY: All right. So why exactly are these men walking free?

Joining me now with more on these men and the guy who conducted these interviews for CBN is their terrorism correspondent Eric Stakelbeck.

• Watch Sean's interview

Eric, thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.

First of all, I want to put this in the context. I don't think I can put enough emphasis on this, that our own government told us within the next several months, they -- they say it's pretty much a certainty that we're going to get hit again. So we're looking at what you investigated through that prism. Your thoughts on that?

STAKELBECK: Well, Sean, I think that is an accurate call. Look, I spoke to a guy in London by the name of Saad al-Faqih. Now, this is a guy, Sean, who in 2004 was designated by both the U.S. and U.N. as a global terrorist.

After an hour and a half interview, Sean, as I was leaving his home in a very nice area of London, I might mention, I asked him, "What does the future hold for the west and the Islamic world? Is there going to be more confrontation?"

This is a guy who's very plugged into Al Qaeda and that whole line of thinking, Sean. He's got direct links, according to some intelligence sources back to Usama bin Laden. He told me that he predicts more attacks even bigger than 9/11 on U.S. soil in the coming years.

HANNITY: Actually, the quote, the exact quote is "more confrontation is coming between the west and the Muslim world with terror attacks that are bigger than 2001." That's what -- that's what he told you.

So my question to you is, if you as a journalist can find this guy and -- many of them are wanted here in the U.S. -- and you can get an interview with this guy, why aren't they being arrested? That was my first question.

STAKELBECK: Sean, that's a great question. It all goes back to the 1980s and the 1990s. The British government, according to several sources I spoke to in and around London, the British government made, in effect, a deal with the devil during the 1980s and '90s.

They allowed hardened Islamic terrorists who were wanted in their home countries back in the Middle East to come to Britain to come to London and settle down. And the agreement, there Sean, pretty much an unspoken agreement, was, "Hey, if you don't attack us, if you don't attack Great Britain, we'll let you live here and we'll leave you alone."

Not only have the Brits -- the Brits left them alone, Sean; a lot of these guys are collecting welfare benefits. It's really an unbelievable situation there.

HANNITY: All right. Now, you also interviewed a former confidant of bin Laden himself, who as I understand it -- you can tell the story -- met with bin Laden as recently as 2000. Now, apparently, he has since changed his heart, has a different change of philosophy. He said -- he told you something to the effect that I want you to tell us, that there's nothing that excites bin Laden more than killing innocent civilians?

STAKELBECK: Right. That's a guy by the way of Norman Benoiman. Now, he has disowned the Al Qaeda ideology. He was a member of a Libyan branch of Al Qaeda; broke away a few years ago; says he's no longer in support of jihad.

Now, this is a guy, Sean, who was a close confidant and associate of both bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, met with them as recently as 2000. He told me that nothing excites bin Laden, nothing gets his juices flowing more than killing innocent civilians.

He recounted a story about the 1998 embassy bombings. He said that bin Laden spent a half an hour, 30 minutes, telling him how excited he was about all the deaths and all the innocent people that were killed there. And he said a guy like Zawahiri, to him there are no civilians, Sean. To these jihadists, civilians don't exist. You'll see more on my report tomorrow on "The 700 Club." It's really chilling stuff.

HANNITY: Yes, it's chilling. And by the way, great work on your part. And I'm just -- again, I go back to why wouldn't the intelligence community here in the U.S., you know, we've got relationships with Great Britain. They even had this one guy that you interviewed that said terrorism isn't just a threat but a reality check. And the British government sitting on a tinderbox full of dynamite.

STAKELBECK: Yes, Sean. You know, Anjem Choudary, very dangerous guy. This is a guy who has never formally been charged on terrorism, but members of his group, several members, have been convicted on terrorism charges. This is a guy who's walking the streets of London freely. He's a real vocal guy. He's a real mouthpiece.

But it's interesting, Sean. I spoke to a British official. This gives you an idea of the threat level there right now. Spoke to a British official off-the-record a little while ago who told me, "Look, guys like Choudary, very dangerous, very vocal, but it's the people in Britain who you are not hearing from who you really have to worry about." And I'll tell you, Sean, I think Winston Churchill is turning in his grave right about now.

HANNITY: Yes. I think it's time for blood, you know, sweat and tears, as he said. Toil, sweat and tears.

Yasser el-Sirri, I think is the other guy in the interviewed. He's also a part of the Al Qaeda hierarchy and has been for many years. As I understand it, that he was sentenced to death in Egypt, living in Great Britain, another one that's warning us what's coming.

STAKELBECK: And Sean, he's a guy who belonged to a terrorist group, led by Al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri. He's a wanted man in Egypt, Sean, but not only in Egypt; right here in the United States. He had links to the blind sheik. Now that's a guy you might remember, who was behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Mr. el-Sirri has links to these hardened terrorists. He's a terrorist himself, according to Egypt, but he's living freely in Britain. He's a guy who's very, very dangerous, but he collects welfare benefits in Britain. They don't want him to face torture, Sean, back in Egypt.

HANNITY: This is driving me nuts.

All right, Eric, great work. I can't believe what I'm hearing. And our own government saying it's coming here. Appreciate your investigative report.

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