The U.S. government has diluted the definition of terrorism and is putting Americans in harm's way, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy says.
"We refuse to accept and indulge the fact that terrorism could be inspired by a mainstream interpretation of Islam," McCarthy told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"When we took that position, we basically exacerbated it by saying not only can this not be Islam, but if you say it is Islam or a credible interpretation of Islam, you're a hater and you're somebody we're actually going to regard as more of a problem than the jihadists themselves are," McCarthy said Monday.
He said the government is conveying the signal that "if you deal realistically with the threat that we are up against, then you're the problem, not the solution … That's the slippery slope that we've been on a dozen years, and here we are."
McCarthy, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and author of "Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy," said that as a result, it's harder for law enforcement to fight terrorism.
"The progressives who are now in power frown on what's made us safe for the last dozen years, which is an intelligence-first approach to counterterrorism," he said. "It has really become very, very difficult for people who want to do the things that need to be done to protect this country to do that.
"They basically put their careers at risk noticing things like the fact that the terrorism against us is ideologically motivated … We have a government that has made their job harder and harder to do."
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