Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Steven Emerson is an American print and television investigative journalist, terrorism and national security expert. He is a terrorism analyst for NBC and is widely regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on Islamist financial networks and operational structures. He is known for having predicted, before September 11, 2001, that Islamists would launch a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, and for having warned the U.S. Congress in 1998 of the danger posed by Osama bin Laden.
Regarded as an Islamaphobe by his critics, which include American Muslim groups, Emerson says he has been the target of one serious death threat. He lives undercover in the United States.
Emerson is the author of five books on terrorism and national security, and has devoted years to the study of Islamist terrorism and to cataloguing the presence of international terrorists in the U.S. and Canada, work that has made him the target of a campaign of criticism from some Islamic and Islamist organizations.
He is also the founder and executive director of the Investigative Project, one of the world's largest intelligence archives on Islamist and Middle Eastern terrorist and militant groups.  He started the Project in 1995, after the broadcast on the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service of his documentary Jihad in America, which exposed the clandestine operations of Islamist groups in the U.S., and for which he received the George Polk Award for best television documentary, and the top prize for best investigative report from the Investigative Reporters and Editors Organization (IRE). Nearly all the U.S.-based Islamists Emerson identified in the documentary were indicted, prosecuted or deported after the September 11, 2001 attacks. 
Richard Clarke, the former head of counter-terrorism for the National Security Council, said of Emerson: "I think of Steve as the Paul Revere of terrorism . . . We'd always learn things [from him] we weren’t hearing from the FBI or CIA, things which almost always proved to be true," (Brown Alumni Magazine, November-December 2002).
After his film "Jihad in America" aired in South Africa, Emerson writes that the FBI informed him that a South African Muslim group had dispatched a team to the U.S. to assassinate him. Since that time, Emerson says, he uses a collapsible mirror to check there are no bombs underneath his car; stays away from windows; varies his routine; does occasional U-turns when driving to make sure no one is following him; wears inconspicuous clothing; and changes his routes and the times he leaves his home. He requires security when speaking at universities, and a police guard when addressing the Senate. According to Slate, people who visit his Washington, D.C. office are blindfolded en route, and employees call it "the bat cave."  He left the condominium he had just purchased when Jihad in America was first aired, and now lives undercover. 
Criticism of Emerson
A number of groups have been critical of the way Emerson gathers and uses information. In a 1999 article for Extra!, which is published by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) , a progressive media watchdog, John F. Sugg of the Tampa Bay Weekly Planet charges that Emerson's priority is "not so much news as it is an unrelenting attack against Arabs and Muslims." 
Sugg makes a number of claims about Emerson. He says that Emerson was behind a story in The Observer on June 28, 1998 headlined "Pakistan was planning nuclear first strike against India." The Observer's source, Sugg writes, was interviewed by U.S. nuclear physicists and turned out to be a fraud, yet Emerson had telephoned a number of news outlets to alert them to the story, which gave it an authority it did not deserve. Sugg wonders why Emerson would promote the story to other journalists, rather than write about it himself.
He also claims Emerson may have taken some sections of his 1990 book The Fall of Pan Am 103 — about the December 21, 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland — from reports that had previously appeared in the Syracuse, N.Y. Post-Standard. Reporters from that newspaper allegedly confronted Emerson at a conference and forced an apology from him.
Sugg quotes a New York Times review of Emerson's 1991 book Terrorist, which said the book was "marred by factual errors . . . and by a pervasive anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian bias." Emerson's documentary "Jihad in America" was, writes Suggs, "faulted for bigotry and misrepresentations," by reporter Robert Friedman in The Nation who, on May 15, 1995, accused Emerson of "creating mass hysteria against American Arabs."
Emerson's "most notorious gaffe," writes Suggs, was his claim on CBS News that the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing showed "a Middle Eastern trait" because it was carried out "with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible." After this, CBS decided not to renew Emerson's contract. Emerson himself has written that CBS blacklisted him for five years. 
In response to Sugg's article, the Journal of Counterterrorism and Security International, a publication Emerson has written for, issued a press release stating that it had "uncovered evidence that Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) together with Tampa Weekly Planet editor John Sugg. and a radical Islamic group called the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),  have collectively fabricated evidence in manufacturing a conspiracy against investigative journalist and terrorism expert Steven Emerson."
The press release described FAIR as "an ultra-left wing group that has defended Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, supported Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorists, and even promoted a known anti-Semite." The press release accused Sugg of having "falsely attributed quotes to people who never spoke to him," and of having "twisted the comments of the sources he claims to have interviewed." Sugg denied the charges.  Emerson filed a lawsuit against Sugg but abandoned it in 2003. 
Emerson can be "his own worst enemy," according to journalist John Mintz, who writes that:
Miami Herald reporter Martin Merzer once called [Emerson] for comment on a case involving alleged terrorist sympathizers in Florida, and said he had written an earlier piece on the controversy. He said Emerson replied: 'What perspective did you take, that this is a brutal Zionist plot against the weak, underprivileged Arab minority?' After sensing the new piece would be unflattering, Emerson sent a nasty letter about Merzer to his editor and local Jewish leaders.
In 1998, Emerson heard a Muslim activist planned to leaflet against him at a New York speech of his. He dashed off a withering seven-page response, which included the false assertion that in the 1960s one of his critics, California journalist Reese Erlich, 'was charged with conspiracy to carry out violence in support of the Black Panthers.' Emerson apologized and paid Erlich $3,000," (Washington Post, November 14, 2001).
- Emerson's January 25, 2000 testimony to the House of Representatives' Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims
- Emerson's February 24, 1998 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information, entitled "Foreign Terrorists in America"
- How I made 'Jihad in America' and lived to tell about it" by Steven Emerson, February 26, 2002
- Get Ready for Twenty World Trade Center Bombings Middle East Forum interview with Steven Emerson, conducted on April 7, 1997; published June 1997
- "In Defense of Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes", a letter from Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Root and Branch Information Service, September 19, 1999
- IP News Service website, a news service soon to be offered by Emerson's Investigative Project
- Steven Emerson's Crusade by John F. Sugg, Extra!, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, January-February 1999
- WSJ Rejects Muslim Reply to Steven Emerson
- Who is Steven Emerson?, Council for Arab-American Relations, undated, retrieved on January 2, 2005
- The prime-time smearing of Sami Al-Arian by Eric Boehlert, Salon, January 19, 2002
- "Withdraws Defamation Suit, Counterpunch, May 19, 2003, retrieved January 4, 2004
- "Holy Libel Suit" by Cynthia Cotts, Village Voice, July 18-24, 2001, retrieved January 4, 2004
- Criticism of Emerson gathered on an Islamic website
- Brown Alumni Magazine, November-December 2002
- John Mintz, The Washington Post, November 14, 2001
- Robert Friedman, The Nation, May 15, 1995
Books and papers by Emerson
- (2002), American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us, Free Press; 2003 paperback edition, ISBN 0743234359
- (1995), The worldwide Jihad movement: Militant Islam targets the West (Policy forum), Institute of the World Jewish Congress, ASIN B0006F8JCA
- (1991), Terrorist: The Inside Story of the Highest-Ranking Iraqi Terrorist Ever to Defect to the West, Random House; Villard paperback edition, ISBN 0679737014
- (1990) with Duffy B., The Fall of Pan Am 103: Inside the Lockerbie Investigation, Putnam, ISBN 0399135219
- (1988), Secret Warriors: Inside the Covert Military Operations of the Reagan Era, Putnam, ISBN 0399133607
- (1985), The American House of Saud: The Secret Petrodollar Connection, Franklin Watts, ISBN 0531097781
- (1982), Dutton of Arabia, New Republic, ASIN B0006Y0BWM
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details