Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told Newsmax TV
on Wednesday that the violent Islamist radicals of ISIS will dispatch terrorists to the United States, if they haven't already, and that to think otherwise is "naïve."
Calling the would-be founders of the Islamic State "a radical, extremist army," security consultant Kerik told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that the forces terrorizing Iraq and Syria are just the latest in a long line of anti-Western jihadists seeking violent confrontation with the United States.
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"We've had them here before," he said, "whether it was 9/11, whether it was the bombing in '93 — the World Trade Center — whether it was the 13 different attempted attacks in New York or somewhere else in the country. They've been here. They're going to continue to be here."
He also noted that some U.S. citizens have gone abroad to join ISIS, and that U.S. intelligence estimates of more than 100 U.S.-born ISIS fighters might be on the low side, given that people from around the world are flocking to the organization.
While many ISIS members are poor, unemployed and uneducated, Kerik said that terror groups and others also attract "extremely highly educated men," including doctors and engineers.
"So, people have to realize it's not just the poor," he said. "It's at all levels of the economic spectrum."
Kerik said that the great majority of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding, but that a fraction of Muslims embrace what he called "this sick and demented interpretation of Islam" and leave the West facing a large global adversary.
"Out of that 1.2 billion number there is a group, and even if it's 1 percent, think of the numbers that have this radical, extremist view that wants the demise of Christians, of Jews and basically anyone that is not of the Muslim faith," said Kerik.
"That's an enormous, enormous number," he said. "I don't care if you call them al-Qaida, I don't care if you call them ISIS, I don't care what you call them . . . There's an enormous gathering out there, an army of these men and women that want to see the demise of anything that is not the Muslim religion.
"That battle is here to stay," said Kerik. "So, in essence, we're going to kill them or they're going to kill us. It's one or the other."
Kerik also discussed a pair of recent incidents, in New York and Missouri, in which unarmed citizens died during confrontations with local police officers.
He voiced confidence in the federal and local investigations now taking place into the deaths of Eric Garner, who died in a choke hold
applied by a New York City policeman, and Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo.
He said Garner's death could have been avoided if he had complied with the arresting officers, and he defended the decision
by Missouri authorities to withhold the name of the officer who shot Brown.
He explained that police officers attempting to arrest somebody always live with the possibility that if a confrontation results, they could be disarmed and shot with their own weapon, and that influences how they handle any escalation.
"I've had friends that have died as a result of making an arrest and being shot and killed with the wrong gun," said Kerik.
"Every officer that carries a badge and wears a gun has to deal with that, and that's something that they'll have to look at when they're investigating these issues," he said.
Kerik said authorities normally release the name of an officer in a police-involved shooting. But in the Brown incident, which has triggered rioting and looting, Kerik said withholding the officer's identity
might be a response to "death threats, or some kind of threats against the officer and/or his family."
"If that's the case, it would be irresponsible, really, to release the name," he said.
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