Presented with the kind permission of Hoover Institution
June 30 2008: Andrew McCarthy is a former assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York. He led the 1995 terrorism prosecution of “The Blind Sheikh”, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 others, all of whom are now serving long sentences for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
Now a senior fellow for the Foundation of the Defense of Democracies and a contributing editor to National Review Online, McCarthy is the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad.
“It is crucial to grasp…[the] Islamic notion of freedom, for it is the inverse of the Western conception.” From this central idea, McCarthy discusses the “chasm between the Islam of Western fantasy and the Islam that actually exists,” underscoring the fact that “jihadists are very adept at exploiting the freedoms that are available to them in Western democracies.”
Confronting Islamic extremism, how do we make our strategic behavior — the rules of war — conform to the “rule of law” that is essential in maintaining a free society?
Andrew C. McCarthy – For 18 years, Mr. McCarthy was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York where he led the terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. He served as the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District’s satellite office and also supervised the Office’s Command Post near Ground Zero in New York City following the 9/11 attacks. Mr. McCarthy is the recipient of numerous awards including the Justice Department’s highest honors: the Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award and the Distinguished Service Award. In 2004, he served as a Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.