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Joel Rosenberg Interview

Bestselling author Joel Rosenberg will talk about the current situation in the Middle East and his new thriller "Without Warning." Read Transcript

Well, ladies and gentlemen, what about the ultimate horror?

ISIS planting sleeper cells in America that rise up and attack

the US capital.

Unthinkable, but maybe not.

And Joel Rosenberg has been a prophet

of a lot of things happening.

He has written a new book called "Without Warning."

Interesting, page turning chiller.

And Joe's going to tell us more about that,

but let's take a look.

What if the unthinkable happened?

Terrorist attacks inside the American homeland

by the Islamic State.

from "New York Times" bestselling novelist Joel C.

Rosenberg comes his most chilling political thriller

yet, "Without Warning."

"Without Warning" is one of the must read thrillers of 2017.

One reviewer writes, "the jaw dropping ending alone

is worth the price of admission."

"Without Warning," available now from

Well, Joel Rosenberg joins us to tell us

more about his new book called "Without Warning,"

and we welcome him back to "The 700 Club."

Joel, good to see you.

Great to see you, Pat.

Thank you.

I heard the King of Jordan learned about my interview

with you about your last book.


It's interesting.

So last year when you had me on for the book "The First

Hostage," the previous in the series, the king

was flying to Washington to meet with President

Obama and members of Congress.

Well, an advisor of his was routing through London

and picked up my novel at Heathrow Airport.

Didn't know anything about me or the book.

Read the novel on the way to Washington,

and he was shocked to find that King Abdullah of Jordan

is a named character in the series.

When he gets to Washington, he brings the book to his majesty,

and he says, you have to read this.

And the king says, why?

Because you're in it.

He goes, what you mean I'm in it?

It's a novel, right?

He says, I know, but you're a character in the book.

He says, what?

Now, at that same moment, the President

was canceling his meeting with King Abdullah.

He was too busy.

Too busy.

You and I, the next day, were together,

and I said to you on the show, listen, this is ridiculous.

The President doesn't have time for our most faithful Sunni

Arab ally in the middle of a hot war against the Islamic State?

This is a man we should be strengthening, encouraging.

And I sort of went off during the interview,

and you let me, very graciously, because it was wrong.

Well, what happened is, because the President had

canceled the meeting, the king had some time.

So in less than two days, he read the novel.

Then I posted a transcript of our interview on my blog.


The adviser, wanting to know a little bit more

about who I was, went to my website and then read the blog,

then printed out the transcript of our interview

and gave it to his majesty, at which point,

rather than me being banned from Jordan forever,

because, obviously, this is a series, in part, about ISIS

attacking Israel, Jordan and the United States.

Rather than banning me, he invited my wife and me

to come for five days and visit with him and his top generals

to learn how they're trying to protect

the kingdom from the Islamic State,

all set into motion, in part, by yours and my interview.

I'm glad I could have some part in it.

Well, listen, this one, Joel, is something--

it looks like you were talking about President Obama

as you started the book, but you've

got this feckless leader of the nation who is a snow job

artist for the American people, but he's covering up.

And your protagonist--

I wish you'd made him something besides "The New York Times."

Couldn't you have gotten--

Well, there are reputable people in the media.

They're not all--

You made the gray lady looks so beautiful there.

Look, first of all, my fictional president

is not President Obama.

But a president who thinks that he is making progress

against the Islamic State but doesn't understand

the magnitude of the threat and doesn't understand

what's driving the Islamic State--

the leaders of the Islamic State aren't simply

radical Islamic terrorists.

They are what I call apocalyptic Islamic terrorists.

I mean, they are trying to bring about the end of the world

as we know it, and they believe that if they commit genocide--

which is really what ISIS has engaged in against Christians,

Sunni or Shia Muslims and Yazidis--

if they commit genocide, that will somehow

hasten, in their view, the coming

of their so-called Messiah, the Mahdi, and the establishment

of the global Islamic kingdom, with,

they believe, Jesus as the deputy to the Mahdi

to help annihilate all of us infidels.

This is, in real life, an extraordinarily dangerous

thing, and the question now that President Trump and his team

have to face is, how do they do a better job?

I think they can.

I think they must.

And that's the challenge right now.

They've started an action against Raqqa--

which this other guy that, in your book, didn't want to do.

But the interesting thing about your book

is it is conventional stuff.

I mean, you've got World War II howitzers.

You've got an old fashioned [INAUDIBLE]

that's come out of Alabama.

I mean, it's an interesting-- but sarin gas-- they're using--

Well, that's one of the challenges is--

the danger, of course, is ISIS not just trying to do genocide

in Iraq and Syria.

The question in "Without Warning"

is, could they find a way to penetrate inside the United

States and then, using maybe some unconventional tactics,

then use unconventional weapons, like chemical weapons,

and attack not only Washington, but multiple cities

throughout the United States?

Now, you graciously referred to me as being prophetic.

I pray that this never comes true.

But I think this is what the president is warning us

right now, that if we are not careful about who we let

into the country and how we protect our borders

and how we go on the offense against the Islamic State,

we run the risk of being blindsided, being

hit without warning, by the Islamic State.

Do you have any hard intelligence

about how many sleeper cells ISIS has got in this country?

Do you know?

Well, I just met with on Friday

with the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

This is Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas.

I wouldn't say there's hard intelligence on the number

sleeper cells, but just in the last few years--

just last year, 36 people were arrested in the United States

on ISIS related plots.

36 last year.

So there have been 117 plots intercepted and disrupted

over the last several years.

So you can see the magnitude of the ISIS effort--

both to send people here, but also

to radicalize people that are already here--

this is the threat.

And I'm glad to see the President taking measures

to improve border security, extreme vetting.

Look, we don't want a ban on Muslims.

That's not what is being talked about.

We want to strengthen our alliances with Jordan,

with Egypt.

I think President El-Sisi--

he has his issues on human rights, the economy,

but he's attacking the radicals.

We need to strengthen him.

Well, Obama was a buddy of the Muslim Brotherhood instead

of El-Sisi.

El-Sisi wants to be our friend.

He does.

And I think that evangelicals should reach out to El-Sisi,

get to know him, spend some time with him.

El-Sisi is meeting with Jewish leaders.

He met with Pope Francis in Rome.

He's meeting with Coptic Christian leaders in Egypt.

And he is fighting the radicals, and what's more,

he's not only literally fighting them in Egypt--

in the Sinai, for example--

but he also went to Al Azhar University in Cairo.

This is the Harvard of Sunni Islam.

And he told these leaders, the Islamic clerics,

you need to reform--

you need a revolution in Islam, because you're going

to face the day of judgment.

If you continue to encourage this violent, militant


there's a sense that you can use Islam to create a totalitarian


you are going to face judgment.

Now, what Muslim leader has ever said these type of things?

El-Sisi has.

King Abdullah of Jordan has.

These are the type of men that we need to work with,

as well as working with the Israelis.

The terrible thing with the Obama administration is they

have turned their back on El-Sisi.

They didn't want to help him, and they opened up

to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a radical group.

They haven't really help Jordan, to speak of.

As you mentioned, they stiffed the king

when he came to see the President.

I mean, the whole thing is just unbelievable.

And I think, therefore, President Trump actually

has done an amazing job--

the national security team is solid.

These are strong, experienced people.

General Mattis-- Mike Pompeo is a friend over at CIA.

Dan Coats coming in as Director of National Intelligence.

These are strong, excellent people,

and they're experienced.

What's more, he's asked the Pentagon

to put together a war strategy.

Well, they've already started sending troops against Raqqa,

I mean, they're going after--

Well, and that's something that we didn't think

President Trump would do was to go into Syria,

so that's a new development.

We'll see how that plays out.

I think the first step is you liberate Iraq.

We've already made a commitment as Americans

that that's an important country,

and we put a lot of blood, sweat, tears and treasure

into Iraq.

I think we're getting close now to liberating all of Iraq.

We're going to need a new status of forces agreement in Iraq.

President Obama got rid of all of our forces.


We need US forces on the ground there long term.

I don't mean in fighting all the time,

but making sure it doesn't become a vacuum, making sure

Iran doesn't come and take over Iraq.

I'm encouraged to see the President has invited leaders

from 68 countries at the end of March to a Washington summit

to talk about how to defeat ISIS.

But there's one other thing that's important.

This president is the first president in history

to use the term radical Islamic terrorism.

President Bush didn't use it.

President Obama famously didn't use it.

But once you use the term, you have both the opportunity

and the responsibility to define it.

We need to make clear that we're not

talking about the vast majority of Muslim people.

I think the studies that we've looked at show

that 90% of Muslims are not violent, but you have 7% to 10%

who do support terrorism.

10% of a billion three is a lot.

That's a lot of people.

It would be about half the population

of the United States.

So it's important for the President

to say, we're not talking about 90% plus of the Muslim world,

but we are saying that this is a serious problem,

and start to define--

we don't mean that all Islam is radical.

We mean that those who want to use Islam for terrorism, those

are our threats, and it's a serious threat.

As El-Sisi says, the rest of them don't condemn--

they don't dare to condemn the radicals.

They are silent.

They are not out condemning radical Islam.

They aren't.

Well, I agree that the Muslim world

has been very reticent to define this problem.

But I was just at the lunch where King Abdullah of Jordan

spoke in Washington at the National Prayer Breakfast.

There was a leadership luncheon.

And he said we have been too silent.

We need to speak out.

He said, this is an internal problem.

This is a Muslim civil war.

He describes these as [NON-ENGLISH].

This is a term that means outlaws or criminals

within Islam.

Now, you can have a whole theological argument--

is this real Islam?

Is it not Islam?

But if Muslim leaders say, we want to fight it,

we need to encourage those men, those leaders, that

made their tribe increase, who speak out

and fight against these threats.

Here in this country, there are 1,000 pages

in the FBI counterterrorism book that

were scrubbed because they took every reference to Islam out.

I mean, you know, the Obama people

didn't want to mention Islam--

radical Islam-- or anything about Islam.

They took it all out.

The mistake there is Muslim leaders like El-Sisi and like

King Abdullah, they're saying, listen, it's not all Islam,

but these are our criminals.

These are our outlaws.

So this is why this novel is a way

of helping people, first of all, stay up all night reading.

I want to entertain.

I want to-- and there's a spiritual journey in the story,


But at the same time, it sort of shows the picture of,

when you have leaders who won't take the threat seriously--

or think that they are, but they're not being decisive--

the danger is this threat comes inside the homeland, and then

the next part of the book, as you know--

I won't give it away-- but the hunt

to take out the leaders of ISIS, it's

working with our Arab and Israeli allies.

That's something we need to do while we protect ourselves

from this book ever happening.

And I was with the vice president few weeks ago.

I said, OK, it's all on your guys' shoulders now.

You know, I write these fictional books,

but you guys need to really get the job done.

Well, the book is called "Without Warning."

You know, Joel, I said at the beginning,

I was in Korea with the Marines--

Thank you for your service.

And I served under MacArthur, actually, when he was--

I was in Japan for a while.

He was still in charge of things.

If we'd listened to him, we wouldn't have this problem

today, but it surfaced on the Korean peninsula,

and it's very dangerous.

They've got extraordinary nuclear capabilities.

They've got missile they're launching,

and they're aiming at the United States.

We wouldn't have had that if we'd done the job.

So you've got to clean house on these people.

You can't leave them.

I was just in South Korea about a year and a half ago.

It was my first time.

They took me up to the DMZ.

We went into those tunnels.

We had a chance to look at the forces.

It's a very dangerous situation, and it's combined.

You look at North Korea's relationship

to Iran, for example.

They are working on ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons


Now, when you look at Iran and ISIS and North Korea,

with this type of technology and a genocidal outlook,

this is nothing like we've ever seen in human history,

and thank God we have an administration that

will call it out for what it is and will focus on it,

and I'm encouraged-- like I said,

General Mattis and these teams, this is a new team,

and they are far better than we had the last eight years.

I'll tell you, the [INAUDIBLE] of the left had better be

quiet, because we're facing a threat that's existential,

and it's there, and it's real.

But, anyhow, this book is "Without Warning,"

about ISIS and the sleeper--

It is fiction, but we hope it stays fiction, right?

It's got a lot of truth in it about the sleeper

cells in this country, and they definitely have them,

but any question about it.

Joel is a very popular author.

This book is available wherever books are sold.

And, Joel, thank you.

And I don't know if any king is going to be watching this show,

but maybe one of them is.

Maybe El-Sisi.

Good to see you, Pat.

Bless you.

Thank you, buddy.

God bless you.


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