Long before the devastation of September 11, 2001, the war on terror raged. The problem was that only one side, radical Islam, was fighting it as a war. For the United States, the frontline was the courtroom. So while a diffident American government prosecuted a relative handful of “defendants,” committed militants waged a campaign of jihad–holy war–boldly targeting America’s greatest city, and American society itself, for annihilation.
It is the jihad that continues to this day. But now, fifteen years after radical Islam first declared war by detonating a complex chemical bomb in the heart of the global financial system, former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy provides a unique insider’s perspective on America’s first response.
McCarthy led the historic prosecution against the jihad organization that carried out the World Trade Center attack: the “battalions of Islam” inspired by Omar Abdel Rahman, the notorious “Blind Sheikh.” In Willful Blindness, he unfolds the troubled history of modern American counterterrorism. It is a portrait of stark contrast: a zealous international network of warriors dead certain, despite long odds, that history and Allah are on their side, pitted against the world’s lone superpower, unsure of what it knows, of what it fights, and of whether it has the will to win.
It is the story of a nation and its government consciously avoiding Islam’s animating role in Islamic terror. From the start, it led top U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to underestimate, ignore, and even abet zealots determined to massacre Americans. Even today, after thousands of innocent lives lost, our eyes avert from harsh reality.