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tv   Intl Spy Museum Discussion with Former Al- Qaeda Member  CSPAN  March 19, 2019 4:41am-5:53am EDT

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on campaign 2020 and the democratic field, then the washington examiner's senior columnist fred barnes discusses president trump's reelection prospects on the 2020 democratic kennedy -- and the 2020 democratic candidates. live tuesday on the c-span p.m. eastern1:45 president trump holds a news conference with bolsonaro. a.m.,pan2 and i :00 inter-american dialogue posts a discussion on corruption venezuela. later at 2:30 p.m., scott gottlieb on his tenure. at 9:30 a.m. the u.s. institute of peace hosts a panel on crimea five years after russian occupation. museum inational spy washington posted a conversation
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with a terrorism specialist and u.s. citizen and former al qaeda member. they looked at how terrorist networks radicalize and recruit in the u.s.. this is just over an hour. you -- letstart with me start with you. how did brian come into your sights? >> in new york city, looking at what was going on overseas. clearly after 2005 in the july 7 bombings in london, where you can citizens who were radicalized -- u.k. citizens who were radicalized were able to connect to al qaeda and you had plots. suicide bombers in london. the next summer you had you cases and -- u.k. citizens
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radicalized, launching a liquid bomb plot. we were very concerned about a couple of things. number one, we were very concerned about new yorkers radicalizing to al qaeda type of violence and either looking to carry out a plot at home taking initiative themselves, or even more dangerous, as we have just seen, traveling overseas, making connection to al qaeda, going through al qaeda training camp and then been turned around because they were clean skins, i.e., they had a u.s. passport, and sent back to new york city to conduct some type of an attack. we were set up in new york city to have a cadre of detectives who ran undercover as informants. these detectives have been
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skilled running undercover informants for narcotics and had a new mission after 9/11 to penetrate terrorist cells around new york city. we had a cadre of civilian analysts recruited from the same places you would recruit cia analysts. we were looking to find individuals in new york court radicalizing -- in new york who were radicalizing. bold -- lo and behold, in late 2007 we find out about someone from long island who has done that. -- who are very much similar to the groups we saw in the u.k. talking about committing some type of violent act.
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that is where we were in late 2007. you hear about his existence, not even by name at first. queensyou get there from -- how did you get there from queens? it's not an easy place to get to. >> i guess the first part, i was interested in joining the battlefield on the side of the sunni extremists. i was listening to audio sermons. >> tell the audience exactly who that is. a.m. any american -- a yemeni american who studied to become an islamist scholar and was preaching pro jihadi sermons available on the internet. back then it was very easy to get some of his audio sermons
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for free. listening to them was very captivating, motivating. that inspired me a lot to go overseas and participate in jihad. that not know anybody could help me directly get into afghanistan, so the first goal was to get to pakistan. i read a book called "inside the jihad" that talks about a belgium kid of moroccan background went to afghanistan. i used that kind of as motivation. i decided if he could do, i am going to try to do something similar. i had a friend in new york was planning to go to pakistan. i made plans with him to meet up in pakistan. i did not want to tell him my real reason for going over there. once i met him in pakistan, i explained to him my intent to go
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to afghanistan for fighting. he said i don't know anybody, but i will ask around and see if i can find anybody that can help you. he helped me. there was an afghan family that lived on the same street as his cousin. through them i met a guy that introduced me to some militants. i did not know at the time they were connected with the isi. he helped me get into my first group and that got me into the world of insurgents. >> chris, you actually imprisoned --ian in prison to try to better understand the mindset. >> that's exactly right. associated with organizations that their principal mission was to find, fix, and finish terrorist from
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the battlefield. i understood at the time as a career intelligence officer, i understood the soviet army when we were engaged with them or thinking we might be engaged against the soviet army. we truly did not understand our adversaries in this new, complex battlefield. we did not understand "jihadists." based on relationships with the department of justice and others , i was able to go in and really understand from brian the radicalization process. that contributed significantly to our learning and it was very important. that is the first time i met brian. i will pause and maybe later i can tell you the relevance of that interaction with the policy world at the white house. in alan, i mean, people qaeda are by nature pretty suspicious about sanders --
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about outsiders. what was the process by which they let you in? >> i did not know at the time, but an older tunisian man that i had spent time with voucher for me to get in touch about -- vouched for me to get in. he spoke good italian and i spoke decent spanish. we could actually have a decent conversation. over a few days he got to know me. impressionave a good on him and he vouched for me to get in. i did not find out until later on when i bumped into him through the al qaeda system. through a translator he told me that for me to get in -- he vouched for me to get in. >> chris mentioned the process of radicalization. when you work with nypd, as you mentioned in your opening
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remarks, there was this homegrown terrorism. it had never happened before in a terrorist attack. suddenly you have the amsterdam attack. tell the audience a little bit about what nypd did and what you did to come up with a model of radicalization, what to look for, and also explain the criticisms you got for that study. >> sure. you have the nypd, it was still a start intelligence agency. it did not have preconceived notions that it necessarily knew everything. as we saw the attack in madrid, the murder of the ovando in gogh inm -- theo van amsterdam by a citizen. we said listen, we need to
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better understand homegrown radicalization. wherever that home may be, but in a western country. myself and a couple other team members went to london to amsterdam to madrid, to paris, to berlin to try and understand all of the different plots that have happened in recent years. not so much on how did the individual get the device, build it, not even how much are they connected with al qaeda, but was the -- what was the process that took this seemingly well integrated dutch moroccan citizen and made them assassinate theo van gogh's nephew in broad daylight in amsterdam? what made that pakistani individual come back and blow himself up on a bus? as part of that process by putting all these different case studies against each other, and we even looked at the hamburg cell from 9/11. they really radicalized in
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germany, not so much in the middle east. taking something from the finance world, comparative studies, looking at these 11 different cases, certain common patterns fell out of it. it seemed like you could almost break this down into certain phases that a person would pass through as they went from someone who citizen undistinguishable to someone who is actually willing to turn to violence for this cause they are willing to believe in. in a great show of courageous miss, the nypd decided to -- courageous miss, that -- , the nypd decided to put this out there. you mentioned the critique. the critique was that we came down to washington to present it, and depending on where you set depended on the critique.
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the fbi did not have anything to say about it, because it was the nypd. that just spoke to the nypd-fbi relations. dhs made some murmurings of positivity. the agents from overseas behind closed doors said that's what we are seeing, too. we got a good reception among the agencies looking at this overseas and among overseas partners. i think the critique in the u.s. was wait a second, you are looking at the process that sometimes dovetails with a person become more religious. sometimes in those early stages they are becoming more religious and maybe they stop and do not turn to violence. for some people, that religiosity crosses another threshold to violence. how do you distinguish between soldiers becoming more devout and someone turning to terrorism? >> do you have a view about that?
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justis the moment or is it -- in some individuals is hard to explain that choice. it is a case-by-case situation. me, i saw a lot of documentaries on conspiracy theories, american imperialism, listening to sermons. overtime, on accumulation of all ofthat was the trip for me wanting to go overseas to do something. >> when you met brian in prison, what was your theory of the case, as it were? >> the theory of the case was again, i am not a psychologist. i was not an expert on radicalization, but i felt it was a cumulative effect of a range of issues.
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no individual goes through the same pattern, necessarily, so there is a different pattern for each individual. choice -- anidual individual choice ultimately. sometimes they radicalize together, sometimes they radicalize and mobilize by themselves. the key point was understanding that there are similarities and trying to come to grips with how do you get ahead of that, how do you counter that? that's what i was interested in. i did not have the mandate to counter radicalization in the job i was in. i would just advise policymakers. were i in your shoes, this is what i would do, then i eventually found myself in those shoes. the careful what you ask for -- be careful what you ask for. >> prevention is intervention
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and in people not to go down this path. holding radical ideas is not a crime in this country. it is carrying out some violent act. from your own experiences, i know that you are involved in countering inviolate extremism violent -- countering extremists projects right now. give the audience a sense of what works, what does not work, what are the pitfalls of trying to intervene, because sometimes it does not work. >> if you look at the landscape in the u.s., it is one of those situations where all of your problems are nailed because the only thing we have our hammers. what i mean is that if you detect someone who is radicalizing to violence, from the law enforcement perspective, until that person crosses the line into some type of criminality, volunteering to go travel to join isis, material support charge, being part of a
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conspiracy, there is nothing you can do. , youa cognitive standpoint are radicalized but you have not actually taken any action. once you cross that line, that is when the nypd, fbi is able to arrest you and you are going to go away for a long time. is there something else that can be utilized for that vulnerable 17, 18, 19-year-old who is on to make a mistake because they are at home in their basement in a negligent or -- in an echo chamber? one of the things we are trying to get going in the u.s. is targeted interventions. when that person is picked up on the radar screen, they have not yet crossed the line into criminality. could you bring in somebody, s,most like you do with gang who has already been there, done that, and knows that it's a dead-end, and have that person meet with them.
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frankly, that is one of the ways that brian and i connected and are looking to work together. i know people ask you, could anyone have ever knocked you off the path as you were sort of radicalizing? might -- i guess -- process to go overseas, i think there was always somebody who was a veteran of over in afghanistan would have talked to me and explained to me, listen, a lot of the videos you see are exaggerations, it's not as great as you think it is. a lot of people and up getting up getting end detained, extradited, face charges and prison time, or you get right on -- ratted on.. i think that's a very powerful
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--sway people who are going vulnerable, sway them away from thinking like that. somebody in my shoes, i have spoken with chris of the possibility of reaching out to troubled youth who are thinking about going down that path. i would just have to tell them the truth of what it is really like out there. i think i would be able to at least minimum put doubts in people's minds. what do you think, chris? >> i agree. after talking to brian, i was armed with data. i was armed with talking to an individual who went through the process and set with an isis defector. i watched an intervention play out in new york and was sponsored by the u.s. attorney's office. the beauty of that and the challenge -- the beauty was it played out. there were some people taking bureaucratic risks to do that intervention, because from a law-enforcement standpoint, there is nothing there from
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their point of view at times, nothing there but risk. there was a willingness to intercede in this individual's life and have that isis defector tell him the truth. the truth was not what he wanted to hear. that took him off the path. what brian said has a lot of merit. i will make a final point. with the new counterterrorism strategy published in october by the u.s. government, there is room to ensure that we have and have that basis defector tell them the truth and the truth was not what he wanted to hear. that took him off the path. and have that basis defector tell them the truth and the truth was not what he wanted to hear. that took him off the path. i think what he said, has a lot of merit.
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with the new counterterrorism with the new counterterrorism strategy that was published in october by the u.s. government, to ensure we have counter messaging. to ensure we have counter messaging. to ensure we have to do things like offramp spirit all of this work has had a result. to ensure we have counter messaging. to ensure we have to do things like offramp spirit all of this work has had a result. the inter-agency has to figure out exactly what that means. meanwhile, it is the private that are out talking on their own initiative that helps counter some of that message. that are out talking on
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their own initiative that helps counter some of that message. there of -- there is room for that in this strategy. recognition that it is important to have a counter radicalization message. recognition that it is important to have a counter radicalization message. better coming from someone like bryant than from me. recognition that it is important to have a counter radicalization message. better coming from someone like bryant than from me. >> one of the interesting things about the strategy is the focus is the focus on far right extremists. not just jihadists. we have had a terrible tragedy in new zealand on friday. my question for all of you is what you just discussed is that, is the process similar for a just discussed is that, is the process similar for a neo-nazi? on the off ramps similar? guest: in terms of the study of an issue, not in terms of the sf an issue, not merely looking at the academic articles that are written on right wing extremism, by far, the articles on jihadi is outweighs that multiple times over. outweighs that multiple times over. if you are looking in europe, look at germany, some of the nordic countries, they have a lot of experience experience wid radicalization, or disengagement from violence programs. one means do radicalization. we will try to get you to change the thoughts and minds. disengagement from violence, you can keep the thoughts, you will not act on them anymore. both of those are societal wins. the u.s., we are behind european countries on that. for our initiative, we are focused on the jihadi threat. i can see an expansion and we are starting to talk to some people who are farmers, from a
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right-wing threat. we believe they also would have that street grid -- cred to say don't go down that road. host: it seems like a fool's errand. the question is people committing violence or attaching themselves to a violent group. you use disengagement. that seems like a much more narrow, more focused, ultimately, is really the point. either successful cases that you can point to of interventions? are these unusual? obviously, if someone disengages, they don't do something. it is hard to measure. what is your stance of the ability of law enforcement to engage and get someone to stop being violent? guest: i think there is some risk there. there is an acknowledgment in our strategy documents. isicymakers have agreed it important to expose and counter the flood of terrorist ideology online. those are only words that are put in policy documents.
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what matters is how we implement that. into practicales matters. how the fbi translates that. -- processes it. the good news is the framework is there. after many years, the acknowledgment that we have to do better in that space. amplify point, to success stories. i think this is a success story. the idea that bryant decided to tell the story. some people don't like that. he is telling the story. i think it is important. we need to find others on the other side of the spectrum as well. those works didn't talk just about jihadist terrorists. said, the strategy talks about neo-nazis,
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literally. it is built into the strategy. there is an acknowledgment that that is a problem. in time, we will overcome some of the bureaucratic impediments. it comes down to risk. organizations worry about their risk. the: just to go back to process of your radicalization. were you radicalizing in your bedroom by yourself? were you hanging out with other people? to what extent was it online or in person or a combination? combination of a both. watching documentaries. host: so you're hanging out with other jihadi folks? host: -- guest: a few in long island.
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even if they were not local, they were sympathetic. i was also very careful making sure that who i talked to would not come back with the fbi knocking on my door. i was very selective on who i talked to. host: yours -- you are discussing some plan with people inside i -- al qaeda. a drawing stage of the plan or was it something more advanced? guest: it was in the beginning stages. there was a mid-level al qaeda ranked leader. he was picking my brain, asking me questions. i gave him what information i knew. host: what happened next? captured a few -- maybe a month afterward. i'm not sure what happened. capture, your
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mentioned isi, where they involved? guest: i was being followed. thebody tipped off authorities that i was outside of travel areas. i was in a marketplace. me.p came up to i did not understand what he was saying that he was motioning me to take a step out. i eventually got handed over to the u.s. authorities. host: was your arrest a good thing? guest: obviously, i did not die. it gave me an opportunity to do something positive. toward the end of my stay over there, there were a lot of things that were not true from
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the jihadi videos. it gives me an opportunity to help sway a young guy from going down that route. as long as i continue doing good work, it was a good thing. host: you were born catholic. that's that have any impact? -- does that have any impact? guest: i wasn't religious. in a way, you were way ahead of a lot of people about it is inok at whether , you arend or holland really way ahead on the threat the united states. and a lot of western countries, it is homegrown. 19 foreigners, now, that is not
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really a model that exists. you were born in long island. guest: i was born in queens. you: talk to us about how sort of came to this realization this?y were you ahead of guest: the main reason we were ahead was that we were willing to think differently. with nooverseas preconceived notions as to what terrorism should look like. with these couple of different madrid,2004, attack in the van gogh plot, and amsterdam, the first thing after being hired, i was sent by this team to amsterdam. thedutch authorities said
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next attack will not be another 9/11, it will be a 311. what they meant was we just past the anniversary, the march 11 2004 attack in madrid where the individuals who carried out the muslims living in spain. this was not a command and control plot where operatives were sent in. effect of the dutch tell us that allowed us to get and said now we are a couple different jobs. we can get them. host: when you are in --, tell the audience what it was like and were you encountering westerners? who were in the orbit of al qaeda at the time? guest: it was like the wild west. everybody has weapons on them.
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an average to see guy, not even part of any group, carrying around an ak-47. it is very tribal. you almost never see police. if the military comes through, it is a big convoy. they don't stop in the middle. no courts. you have sharia law, that is emphasized by the local tribes. did you encounter other westerners? europeans, aother few australians. no other americans. i was a only person from the u.s. at the time. it was mostly european. which years were you in
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afghanistan? guest: i was back and forth. close assigned in 2003, 2004, 2005. the ground in afghanistan, likely on the ground when bryant was there. any other thoughts before we open it up to the audience? let's open it up. you can raise your hand. wait for the microphone. >> you -- you indicated you are
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the only american. did your superiors try to exploit that long-term? to planfor some inroads and operation within the u.s.? guest: the only one that picked my brain on information on how to attack the u.s. was a mauritanian. he was a mid-level ranking member of al qaeda. when i was with the isi, i was being exploited to collect money. they would show me to different people and say we have this american, give us money so we can take care of him. they would pocket the money. host: what was this group? guest: they were a group that had links with isi. host: was it pakistani military organization? guest: many of them were.
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almost all of them were trained. their main focus was to destabilize the province. that flows into pakistan. there were plans for a dam to get built on the river. as long as it was destabilized the dam would never get built. host: were you scared? guest: there was a lot of moments where it was surreal. as you aree numb going through and go with the flow. the only time i was scared was toward the end because i thought i was going to guantanamo. other than that, i was not really scared. one thing that is interesting about his case, we have seen this time and time again, when you look at the ,esterners who went to fight who got turned around and came
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back, he went there for the purpose of the fight over there to defend muslim land against coalition forces, western invaders. it was al qaeda who did not turn him around, but said what can we learn from you. these are the people who turned around seeing an opportunity, it is interesting talking about the process, from the westerner, it seems like people don't go there with the intention to come back and hit us. they went there with an intention that the never mind was pure. to defend muslim land. thisn't have to agree with but it is worth understanding with the outlook was. out how to prevent it, thwart it. host: you were still in nypd when it -- came back.
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tell what his plan is, he had two other americans who were living in queens. this could have been you. guest: almost on the same exact , three men from queens. two of afghan descent decide want to go to afghanistan to defend muslim land against coalition forces. they have the connection that they can get into al qaeda. al qaeda says we don't need you .ere, go back to the u.s. the leader of the group comes back to the u.s. and runs a coffee cart in wall street. he moved to colorado. 2009, nypd isf informed that the nsa has detected some type of communications between an email in afghanistan and a fellow in colorado.
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it is an email that is hot. the individual is driving to new york city. game on. we don't know who he knows. city, heng to new york has these two associates in new york city. the plot gets morbid. it could have been a version of bryant. i spent some time also in prison. that was a frame of reference when i talked to brian. maybe i talked to brian first. the whole point was why didn't you come back and execute an operation in the united states? you are very happy to spend your time focused overseas, not come back to the united states and conduct an operation. he was here in the united states, prepared execute an
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operation. he was ready to do it in a subway station. host: we have got one gentleman in the back. where were you incarcerated? we don't have a good track record of correcting people's behavior, how did you not become even harder? guest: i can't give you my exact location. i can tell you to refer to a new york times article. is in upstate new york. what was the second part of your question? >> how did you not get more radical in prison? guest: i was in witness security. it is where high-level government cooperators go. a little bit more secluded, more
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isolated part of the prison system. you find a lot of people who were former gang members. from -- former organized crime. the majority of the people are trying to stay out of trouble so they can do their time and go home. most of them and up as -- in the witness protection program. you are not in an environment where there is other jihadi's trying to talk together and express their bitterness. justof us in that unit are trying to do the right thing and go home. during my time, i had a lot of visits from the fbi. a lot of visits from guests like chris. i was doing the best i can educate people on my experience. feedback from my prosecutors and judge. saying i was doing good work and
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it would help me. and were a lot of motivating factors. also, being outside that environment, being in a war zone. when you are in a war zone, time.g happens all the so and so friend got killed. time.nd such place so and so friend got killed. such and such place got blown up. being in an environment becomes
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time. become so and so friend got killed. such and such place got blown up. being in an environment becomes -- you become desensitized to human emotion. once you are pulled out, that is time.r big step so and so friend got killed. such and such place got blown up. being in an environment becomes -- you become desensitized to human emotion. once you are pulled out, that is another big step to become de-radicalized when you're not in that environment. time. so and so friend got killed. such and such place got blown up. being in an environment becomes -- you become desensitized to human emotion. once you are pulled out, that is another big step to become de-radicalized when you're not in that environment. host: that raises an interesting getting out of prison on may 21, having served getting out of prison on may 21, having served 20 years seconds. whoseone of many inmates sentences will be completed in the next several years.
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whose sentences will be completed in the next several years. what does the government plan for these guys when they get out? so, you know, as of the time that i worked in the so, you know, as of the time that i worked in the government, there was no concrete solid plan for what to do. there was no plan on how to handle something like you and i have talked about. maybe 40 formers, their sentences will be complete. maybe 40 formers, their sentences will be complete. and they can come back to the united states. they will deal with her probation officers. the hope is that in time there will be a recognition that it is better to hear them speak out against radicalization and who work with nonprofits, the private is better to hear them speak out against radicalization and who work with nonprofits, the private sector. even if there is not a government program. i don't know if there will be a government program, the good news is it is framed in a a government program, the good news is it is framed in a strategy. the question is what does that mean. how does that translate to brass tacks? we will see. some of that will be based on what the population wants. and putting pressure on their representatives, etc.. there is not a plan i am aware of, there is a framing document that allows for these individuals to go out and speak against political violence. host: there are individuals who may not share brian's dismissal of al qaeda. --bryant's dismissal of al qaeda. what can be done for somebody who has these ideas? guest: essentially, we have
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looked at this question and put out a report, the next five years, there will be a minimum 60, if not 100 former individuals with terrorist convictions being released back into american society. as chris explained, there is not a program for that. we can be lucky with people like bryant, the recidivism rate is unlikely to be zero. recidivism rates are not zero for free much any type of criminality. the question is what can you do about it. we know some people, jihad jane is out and unrepentant. from a law-enforcement standpoint, they will have tight restrictions on them. their internet use will be prohibited. they will have an ankle bracelet. they will have to report on a regular basis to their probation officer. if they cross the line the fbi or nypd will open up a new investigation on them. as if they were someone with the
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history. >> comment and a question. the first is to thank you for being willing to speak because i don't think any of us can underestimate how important it is for someone who has been through your experience to share their story. i wanted to thank you for doing that. about then radicalization. and disengagement. what happens for genuine reintegration? comes back, disengage,
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they might want to tell their story, they might not. had we get folks who have been through that back into jobs? into their communities. able to make a broader contribution to society. guest: thank you for the kind words. when i got out of prison i did not have anything. i did not have a drivers license, a social security card, i had nothing. i had to start from nothing. appeal was when my , i moved into a three-quarter's house. like a step above a shelter. there is a nonprofit organization and they help you people who get out of prison get back on their feet. they guide them to be
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successful. they don't hold your hand, they point you in the right direction. if youlp you with school want to. there is different categories that are available. school.nto asbestos classes aftertra i finished the package of classes that they offer. i was washing dishes for a while to help save up money. eventually, i am doing lead removal and i have licenses for asbestos. i will get my certificate to remove mold. the construction industry is very kind for people who have criminal records. they tend to turn a blind eye. that is the field i went into. i'm pretty sure there is other fields.
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driving,arts, truck there is different other fields that help people who have convictions get jobs. in the prison that i was in, they did not have any construction skill courses that i could have taken. they could have told me get an edge so that when i get back to the civilian world i would at least have some -- something to work on to get employment. i think it would be very helpful. it depends on the individual, if they want to take the opportunity open -- opportunity or not. it has been working out well for me so far. host: you did a 60 minutes interview recently. there seems to be a contradiction. ? and what?
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host: your face is well known, i'm curious about why you did the 60 minutes profile. guest: i was recommended from my lawyer to tell the truth about what happened. people can judge their own opinion on it. my job is to tell the truth. hopefully, part of my story, i can help convince somebody who is on the borderline whether or not to go overseas or do something crazy here. of me not getting the program would also turn them also. host: this lady here. i wonder if you could comment on the situation you observed
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with the women, the western women who came over. what their circumstances were, what their degree of loyalty or dissolution was. also, looking back to the early , when thereuprising were a lot of very graphic -- of what his regime was doing to the population rising up. what, you know, the westerners, and the women, many who were whated over the internet,
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your position in the panel would be with respect to the women who now, many of whom want to come back to their home countries. guest: i'm not sure on the number, i think the percentage islam i think are very high for women. couldk these gentlemen give you the number better than i can. i remember reading that there were more women converts than men converts. them to go overseas, i cannot tell you. i know that in islam they teach be loyal to your husband. be a good mother. raise your children. if your husband is a fighter on the battlefield, if he were to
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die, he can intercede on your behalf on the day of judgment for your forgiveness. i'm pretty sure that is a big factor for a lot of them. what was the second part of your question? >> the question of whether how you and the rest of the panel feel about whether these women should be allowed to repatriate their home countries. guest: that is a good question because nobody wants these -- the women come of the fighters, nobody wants them back. we have americans who, the united states will not take back. british citizens who were likely involved in the murder of americans. answer. no good probably just least bad answers. what is the least bad answer?
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guest: bryant wrote an up and -- op-ed in the new york times. take these people back, the countries from which they came from, we want to take them back they only stay they will have an identity with is the islamic state. it is easier for the u.s. and because if you went over and joined the islamic state, even if you were a chef, you worked in a hospital sweeping the floors, the nature of the charges we have, material support, the way that charge works, you provide yourself the material support. there is no doubt you can be charged material support. you are up against the full force of the law. bryant thought that was and i went through the process. at the end of that whole
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process, i came out where he is today. that might be an asset from a counterterrorism standpoint. more difficult for the europeans. they don't all have the material support. then it is what did so and so do there. did he or she kill someone? maybe she was just a chef. still not unworkable. you could have people testify against each other. the french speakers were together. english speakers together. you get a few to flip and you bring the rest in. host: the problem is volume. the united states has had few people go and almost none have returned. it is easy for us to say. if you are the french are the british, this is a pretty large number. -- was the attorney general for national security. another question. over here in the middle. one comment and a question.
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i want to thank bryant for helping the department of justice. i wanted to address the question of reentry. it is a significant issue. we were doing a lot of talking and thinking about what is the u.s. doing to prepare for the release of so many people convicted of terrorism related offenses. stillularly those who are very much in a jihadist mindset. not enough is being done. the bureau of prisons does not have any specific programs
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directed to people who have been convicted of international terrorism. they have a lot of programs for reentry that help provide certain life skills, job skills. that is very different, very helpful, necessary, but very different than anything focused specifically on people have been convicted of terrorism related crimes. one reason for that is concern about the establishment clause. constitutional issues that to the extent that the radicalization has to do with religion at all. the u.s. government is nervous about trying to do anything to stick -- scare people away from religious beliefs. the second reason is that it is still a relatively small number of people who have caused a very
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big prison system. unless you want to put them all in one place. then they radicalize each other. you are talking about reentry programs that would have to be all over the prison system. problem.hallenging what i think the reality will be is when people are released, law enforcement is going to engage and really be keeping close tabs on these folks. we are putting pressure on probation officers as well who may or may not be adequately trained in what to look for and risk factors. switching to a question. i have been doing a lot of thinking and writing about domestic terrorism threats.
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it parallels with the international terrorist threat. really trying to get the u.s. government to put more resources into combating domestic terrorism. and radicalization toward violence among domestic extremists. not just islamic extremist. -- extremists. in awondering, npr was meeting, someone said one of their friends, they are worried of white supremacist violence. he is an infidel. involuntary celibacy for those who may not be familiar. he is very isolated. he's blaming everyone else for his problems. his lack of friends, a sense of belonging, lack of job opportunities. he is becoming more and more drawn toward white supremacist
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and white nationalist propaganda. i have long thought that some of the same vulnerabilities in people who might lead them to islamic radicalization are potentially there among those who might go toward a path of white supremacist extremism. i am wondering if you think that is so and if so, any thoughts you have about combating that? guest: i work a little bit with the institute of strategic dialogue. for have programs available if you are concerned about somebody. you can reach out to them and see if they can have somebody come and do an intervention with them. it is not really fair to point the finger at them and say you are wrong. it is more a caring big brother way of doing that.
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i think that option is good because if someone is your friend, are you going to call the police on them? probably not. as a friend, that is the last thing you want to do, help them and up in prison. if there were more programs where somebody who has the experience of what this guy is thinking about doing, come down and talk to someone and persuade .im from doing that that is a huge tool that can be done to improve people on that path. host: anybody in law enforcement is familiar with this study, the fbi looked at a lot of cases. school shootings. everyone involved tell someone they will do it. often, several people. is it anion is
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allergist for terrorism. turns out it is. is thecinating outcome people who know the most about a potential act of violence our peers. people who know slightly more our family members. they are not likely to go to authorities. the people who know something are authority figures, bosses, they are quite likely to inform third the people who know the least are strangers. they are the most likely to say something. something say something campaign produces a lot of false positives. there is an important policy outcome. if we know that the people who actually know what is going on our peers, how do we appeal to them? and family members. it is to say if your kid is flirting with isis and you go to the authorities, he or she is guaranteed to spend 20 years in prison.
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this goes back to the whole question of intervention. as chris said, there are some risks for law enforcement. if you are not just throwing a book at somebody. don'tmes interventions work. is all about this and because ultimately, it is appealing to peers and family members that you want to protect. guest: you want a helpline. a helpline that is not law enforcement. a helpline that can bring in a mentor, big brother, experienced person who will give this a shot. before it goes to law enforcement. host: what about shannon connolly? an irish-american who tried to join isis and the fbi went to her and said we have -- if you
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want to do something serious, join a humanitarian organization. she was arrested on her way to syria. the counterargument is how do you, i guess, there is no zero risk when you approach the intervention root. examples,re have been -- who was killed in a drone strike in yemen, who, his parents called in for an intervention in north carolina. the data solid direction this was going. he did not knock him off the course, he just left and yet -- went to yemen. the canadian intelligence agency went to the houses of some of the people, met with the parents and said we know who you are, we know what you are doing. it did not stop him. it is not an either or, it is a .ool in your toolkit if it does not work, you have
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got the traditional law enforcement. your -- you are touching on a topic of the gray space between , whicheedoms of speech can be hateful and extreme, and our domestic terrorism definition. there is a space in there and how do you manage through that space to catch the hateful individual before they commit some type of act. for bryant, i want to go back to your childhood, your earlier years and have an understanding of what made you want to engage with those in the first place? give us a sense of your mental state and your state of life that had you saying there is something more i want.
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one of the factors i have going overseas was documentaries on american occupation of different lands across the world. said listenf mine to --. he has some great material and talks about american imperialism. at first, i did not want to listen to it. he said he did some -- he is in prison in yemen. that kind of gave him a little more credibility. at least from my point of view. that was the beginning of me wanting to learn more about him. what was the first part? >> when you were -- what made you not like what you viewed as american imperialism? -- really upset me.
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overseas, you see the destruction that the drone planes do. in the tribal areas. just documentaries like that. it is what upset a lot of people. the drone strikes are not really talked about, they are not filled enough. it is difficult to get into tribal areas in the first place. a lot of drone strikes are never broadcasted on the news. i have that answers your question. guest: in terms of the gray space between freedom of speech and breaking the law, from my perspective, we have these investigations that would ofuire a certain predicate activity that an individual would be involved in that would allow you to insert an
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undercover officer or an informant who would then monitor their activities to see if that proto-conspiracy turns into violence. that is in the gray space between freedom of speech and actually criminality. there was a framework set up, similar to the one the fbi uses, in terms of what other predicates to open up an investigation. it cannot be for an unlimited time, it has to be renewed, there has to be information that justifies a renewal. it is a gray space. there are some ways to navigate through it. we can have some type of authority that governs your behavior. intelligence agencies want to know everything because that is the best way we prevent anything from happening. the rules in which we operate just need to be set out and put limits on that.
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while we were working on homegrown violent extremists, those terrorists that radicalized in the united states that might be inspired by overseas organizations, that was our principal focus. literally, in almost concurrently, we had charlottesville. again, i am scared to talk a lot about the legal ramifications because i have got the mayor and josh sitting over there. my experience was the fbi was satisfied with the authorities to charge people andr various federal codes state codes for murder. were very satisfied that we don't cross the line where we start policing ideology. assessment, based on my experience of working through charlottesville. there is a lot of work to be
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done. as i said, i don't want to put too fine a point on it, if there is an overseas nexus with hate speech, where it is incited to commit violence from overseas, and it is on the far right of the political spectrum, then intelligence agencies will be involved. that is some nuance that is on the counterterrorism strategy. more to follow in time. there is a basic problem here. a feature of the united states. it is -- if i, it would be a crime to be a member of isis. it is not a crime to be a member of the kkk. violent as ahing member, that is crime. belonging to the organization is not a crime. discussion,f the prosecute domestic terrorism, it does not really fit, you know,
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it is easy to play, someone is giving money to isis, they are named by the state department. it is much harder to say he gave some money to the ku klux klan. that is protected speech. providing it was not in the service of a violent act. that is the way our society is organized. that is the way to the discussion happens. leftistnot criminalize groups or neo-nazi groups. we will not criminalize these people for belonging to these groups. guest: thank everybody for coming out here. hearing my story. thank you for setting this up. you have always been very supportive from the beginning. thank you very much. >> thank you.
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>> thank you to our panel, we will give you a gift of our favorite book. this is our favorite book because a lot of artifacts in this book are going to be in the new museum. we would like to share part of the museum with you. host: a big hand to the panel. announcer: on the next washington journal, eleanor clift on campaign 2020 and the democratic field. discusses barnes president trump's reelection prospects and the 2020 democratic candidates. announcer: live tuesday, president trump holds a joint news conference with the brazilian president. that is on c-span. 9:00, inter-american dialogue
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hautes a description -- discussion on venezuela. 2:00, scott on his tenure. at 9:30, the u.s. institute of peace hosts a panel on crimea five years after russian occupation. >> the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. >> ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. >> the people who knocked these buildings down will hit all of us soon. c-span's newest book, the presidents. noted historians rank america's best and worst chief executives. provides insight into the lives of the 44 american presidents. true stories gathered by interviews with noticed -- noted
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presidential historians. explore the life events that shaped our leaders. challenges they faced. and legacies they have left behind. published by public affairs. the presidents will be on shelves april 23. you can preorder your copy as a hardcover or e-book today at presidents. or wherever books are sold. next, homeland security secretary outlines 2019 priorities for ths, including border security, cyber security, protecting infrastructure. this is just over an hour.


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