The amorphous core of the Islamist movement, according to Abd Samad, is the Muslim Brotherhood.
This group is also known as Hizb ut-Tahrir, "the Party of Liberation."
It exists in schools and universities throughout Europe and the Middle East. In France the group was known as "the kid brothers."
The objective of the Muslim Brotherhood is simple: "We have to destroy this society so that it can be born again from its ashes." This "reformist" brand of Islam is nothing more than left-wing radicalism in Islamic garb.
"Everything they said was marked by a desire for revenge," noted Abd Samad. In describing his brother's fate, he said that Zacarias "started to develop a specific style of argumentation, and his disillusionment and cynicism increased. When it came to France, he would argue that the system was rotten and made solely to serve a corrupt middle class."
This was the point at which Zacarias Mousaoui lost interest in school and began to obsess about racism. "These accumulated frustrations were like so much fertilizer for the ideologies Zacarias unfortunately would encounter in England."
The descent of Zacarias into a kind of personal hell is indicated. Once he was drawn into the terrorist circle he became a psychological prisoner. And the rest we know. The horror of September 11 follows. And what horrors next, we shudder to think.
The reasons for terrorism are complicated. If we are to fight terrorism effectively, on the political as well as the military level, we must understand the motivations and the psychology behind the terrorists themselves.
A large number of Muslims don't follow the directives of shariah. On the other hand, a large number agree that they ought to. This nuance shouldn't be passed over in silence.
Furthermore, as Muslims flood into the United States to live and work, we find ourselves unable to distinguish the moderates from the radicals.
According to Team B: "the most difficult attack to defend against is the one that comes from inside the defensive perimeter...." The Report continues, "That is the situation of America today. We have an enemy inside our perimeter."
Millions of Muslims live and work in America today. Which of these are enemies, and which are friends? The President says it doesn't matter because we can absorb an attack. Zakaria says it doesn't matter, because our best defense is to let everyone in (and include everyone). But is this really a defense? Or is it clouds in our coffee?
Defectors from the Muslim Brotherhood have already attempted to warn the American people that the Brotherhood seeks to destroy the United States Constitution and replace it with shariah.
IN 2004 according to Levitt and Moghadam report the Muslim Brotherhood and the Lebanese-based Hizbullah have an estimated 2,000 members in Germany. French vulnerability is also felt as France is threatened by attacks similar to those in Spain. A Chechen terrorist, supposedly responsible for Moscow's theatre hostage crisis of 2002, has threatened France with a wave of terror. (A pro-Chechen Web site claims that Russian intelligence is actually behind this threat.)
As the United States has been drawn into the Middle East, as the Bush administration attempts to build democracy in Iraq, American ignorance of the region must be confronted.
If Kramer's depiction of our academic experts is correct, then we haven't any special resources to fall back on at home.
In terms of America's intelligence experts, former CIA officer and Middle East specialist Robert Baer recently lamented the ignorance of U.S. authorities in his book, Sleeping With the Devil.
Satellite intelligence is fine up to a point, noted Baer, but what can this tell us when we lack human sources on the ground?
The intricacies of Saudi court intrigues, the security mechanisms of Egypt and Syria, the double dealings of Iran, the inner world of the Muslim Brotherhood are poorly understood in Washington because satellites cannot deliver the on-the-ground understanding that human agents can deliver.