STEVEN EMERSON: Founder and Executive Director, Investigative Project on Terrorism

Name: Steven Emerson

Organization: Investigative Project on Terrorism

Background: Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism is a non-profit organization and website dedicated to exposing the dangers of Islamist infiltration in America gleaned through investigative journalism. Emerson, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University in 1976 and a Master of Arts in sociology from Brown in 1977, worked on Capitol Hill for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the late Sen. Frank Church of Idaho. He left in 1986 to become a journalist and went on to work for U.S. News & World Report, then CNN. In 1991, he published Terrorist: The Inside Story of the Highest-Ranking Iraqi Terrorist Ever to Defect to the West, detailing how Iraq spread and increased its terrorist network in the 1980s with U.S. support. In 1994, Emerson left CNN and produced the documentary film Jihad in America, which allegedly “exposed clandestine operations of militant Islamic terrorist groups on American soil.” In a review, The Nation said Emerson was “creating mass hysteria against American Arabs” with his documentary.

In 1995, Emerson left journalism and founded the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which claims to be “one of the world’s largest storehouses of archival data and intelligence on Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorist groups.” Subsequently, he has written six books on terrorism and national security issues. Emerson and his staff frequently provide briefings to U.S. government and law enforcement agencies, members of Congress, and congressional committees. Emerson is infamous for prematurely declaring that the Oklahoma City bombing was committed by Muslims even before the FBI or Oklahoma City Police Department had any leads. The actual culprit, Timothy McVeigh, was a white supremacist


Funding: Emerson’s non-profit organization IPT received a total of $400,000 from Donors Capital Fund in 2007 and 2008,133 as well as $100,000 from the Becker Foundation and $250,000 from Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum, according to research. Emerson’s nonprofit organization, in turn, helps fund his for-profit company, SAE Productions. IPT paid SAE Productions $3.33 million to enable the company to “study alleged ties between American Muslims and overseas terrorism.” Emerson is SAE’s sole employee.134

Additionally, a review of grants in November 2010 showed large sums of money contributed to the “Investigative Project” or “IPT” care of the Counterterrorism & Security Education and Research Foundation. An examination of CTSERF’s 990 forms showed that, much like the Investigative Project, all grant revenue was transferred to a private, for-profit entity, the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals. The Russell Berrie Foundation has contributed $2,736,000 to CTSERF, and Richard Scaife foundations contributed $1,575,000.

Key Quotes: “Nearly all of the Islamic organizations in the United States that define themselves as religiously or culturally Muslim in character have, today, been totally captured or dominated by radical fundamentalist elements.” [Source]