Subject: HOW TERRORIST LEADERS THINK: THE REAL EMES!The one thing the terrorists don't like," says author Aaron Klein, "is being called terrorists."
Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
This is why, says Klein - the Jerusalem bureau chief for the right-wing news Web site WorldNetDaily.com, and a columnist for the equally conservative Jewish Press - the subjects of his best-selling book, Schmoozing with Terrorists (published by World Ahead Media), are unhappy with its title.
"They prefer to be called 'jihadists,'" explains Klein, noting the apparent nuance that is a clear-cut distinction in the eyes of those who believe it is their religious duty to spread Islam throughout the world, by any means at their disposal.
"My response was to tell those who complained to me about my use of the word that when someone violently targets civilians, that's what he is."
That members and leaders of every major Palestinian terrorist organization ever agreed to talk (via translators) to Klein - a 28-year-old "nice Jewish boy" from Philadelphia - let alone continue to contact him after reading what he writes, seems surprising, if not unlikely. Klein disagrees. Not only does he insist that any journalist who wishes to interview terrorist leaders "can simply phone them up," but, he asserts, "they are proud of their goals and achievements, and glad to have a platform for promotion."
Which begs the question: Why provide such a platform? Because, argues Klein, the West in general, and Western media in particular, tend to play down or ignore the realities of radical Islam. Klein believes it's necessary, therefore, "to educate people on what the war on terrorism is really about," by giving a genuine glimpse into the psyche of suicide bombers and their recruiters.
In an hour-long interview in Jerusalem last month, Klein tried to do just that.
What makes terrorists tick?
That's a good question. A lot of people think that terrorism is about pieces of territory - that Hizbullah just wants to get the Shaba Farms back, for example. Others think that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the whole rest of the alphabet of Palestinian terrorists simply want to destroy Israel or that al-Qaida wants America out of the Middle East. But one thing that has really been driven home to me in all my talks with terrorists - which is the thesis of all of my work - is that they are looking to serve Allah by spreading Islam around the world. That's what makes them tick.
It is often said of terrorists that desperation and poverty - sometimes mental illness - is at the root of their actions. Is there truth to that?
It's true that if you watch CNN or read The New York Times, you would get that impression. Because whenever there's a suicide bombing in Israel, right away they present human interest stories about how the bomber is poor and living under Israeli occupation. And this is in spite of the fact that in the history of modern civilization, there's no other instance of people under occupation blowing themselves up.
But, about a year and a half ago, I met with a 22-year-old Palestinian who had been recruited to become a suicide bomber for Islamic Jihad and his recruiter in Jenin, and I specifically asked them whether they were carrying out their operations because of poverty and desperation. Their response was to get offended and call it Zionist propaganda. They explained that suicide is forbidden in Islam, and that blowing oneself up in the midst of innocent men, women and children does not constitute suicide, but rather jihad for Allah - that therefore it is not only allowed, but it is the creed.
Do the bombers actually believe they're going to paradise?
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Thanks for this excellent piece, bill.
Posted by DS at 7:04 PM