Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, joined SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Wednesday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily to discuss security issues around the world.
The conversation began with Kassam asking Dr. Gorka for his take on CIA Director John Brennan, saying that if President-elect Donald Trump keeps his campaign promise to exit from the Iran nuclear deal, it would be “the height of folly.”
“John Brennan, to be honest, was a man who was an intelligence analyst, worked through the system, tried his hand at being an operator, failed abysmally, was a very unsatisfactory chief of station, and then under the Obama administration became the wingman for the President, promoting his disastrous policies around the world,” Gorka replied.
Kassam next brought up the terrorist attack on Ohio State University by Somali-born refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan and the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility.
“We have to look at the forensics of that claim,” Gorka advised. “We have to look at what he was posting on social media, his connections on the Internet. The rapidity with which the claim was made is very interesting. So I’d give it a 50-50 chance that this is a serious claim of responsibility for the attack.”
Kassam noted that all of these “lone wolf jihad” stories seem to circle back to one person, whom Gorka was able to name immediately: Anwar al-Awlaki. He agreed with Kassam’s comment that Awlaki seems to have a more enduring legacy as an inspiration for terrorism than even Osama bin Laden.
“There is one man who, from beyond the grave, is perhaps the most dangerous jihadi today. It is Anwar al-Awlaki,” Gorka declared. “Any significant case, whether it’s the Boston bombing case, whether it’s this case, sooner or later, you find that the individuals who executed that attack were consuming Anwar al-Awlaki’s audio lectures, were reading his materials. He is more significant than bin Laden today, by a long shot.”
“The key thing about Anwar al-Awlaki is that this is a man who was socialized in both worlds that are essential to successful jihadi operations,” Gorka explained. “Coming, as his family did, from Yemen, yet growing up from a young age in America, means that he straddles both cultures. He can quote the hadith. He can quote the Koran. He can talk about the need for jihadism to cleanse Islam of the influence, the undermining corruption of the West. But at the same time, he knows how to do it in English. He knows how to do it using the cultural themes of the West. And as a result, he is all the more dangerous, because he isn’t like bin Laden: a man who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, spent his formative years in Afghanistan. This is a man who operated in both worlds, and that is why he is so deadly.”
Gorka noted there has been no effort to delegitimize Awlaki as a religious authority, the way Osama bin Laden was diminished after his decidedly unheroic death because “we’d have to talk about religion, and we’re not allowed to do that, at least under the current administration.”
“If we have the censorship, the political correctness that we do here in Washington – and to be honest, in the UK, as well – you can’t talk about the credibility of individual jihadi strategists without talking about religion, without talking about Islam, without talking about the religious texts they’re quoting. So if you deny that, if you say that’s prohibited territory, then all you have is the killing part of it, the whack-a-mole that we call it here in the United States. And as a result, you miss the broader picture, which is the ideology of why people become terrorists.”
“At least here in America, I don’t know about the UK, that’s all going to change on January 20th,” Gorka predicted, referencing the date of President Trump’s inauguration.
Kassam asked if the appointment of Mitt Romney as secretary of state would represent the kind of change for which Gorka was hoping.
“That would depend wholly upon the agreement that he came to with Mr. Trump,” Gorka replied. “The thing that people don’t understand is that Mr. Trump is different. You can’t judge him by the expectations of former politicians and former presidents-elect. This guy has his own rule book.”
“He’s not my favorite candidate, I’ll be honest, but the decision is up to Mr. Trump. And if he can come to a deal – well, he is the dealmaker par excellence,” Gorka added. “I’d like to see somebody like Ambassador Bolton, a hardcore individual who knows where the skeletons are buried at the State Department. But at the end of the day, the American people chose Donald J. Trump, and he will choose his own cabinet.”
Finally, Kassam mentioned the shocking story of a German intelligence officer who was arrested for helping to plot an Islamist terror attack on his own organization’s headquarters. “Do you think this is a sole operator, or do you think there is a wider attempt to infiltrate these organizations?” he asked.
“I’ve always said, for years now, there is no such thing as ‘lone wolf terrorism,’” Gorka answered. “That is a phrase invented to make the average voter stupid. We never, ever have seen a significant plot of an individual sitting in his basement, getting online, and suddenly becoming a jihadi. Sooner or later, there are links to other individuals, to networks, to people who provide training, logistical support. So if this is a serious arrest, if this was a serious plot, I expect there to be a broader conspiracy.”
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.