WELL, EVIL GENERALLY LACKS SELF-AWARENESS: Ronald Kessler, “The FBI’s Problem with Muslim Leaders.”

As we all know, the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving. We all have Muslim friends or co-workers who are admirable people. And a handful of terrorist plots have been rolled up by the FBI based on tips from Muslims.

But what the FBI finds disturbing is that Muslim leaders by and large are reluctant to cooperate with the FBI to let the bureau know of radicals within their midst. The FBI is not about to publicize this. But for my book “The Secrets of the FBI,” Arthur M. “Art” Cummings II, who was the FBI’s executive assistant director in charge of counterterrorism and national security investigations, opened up about the problem.

The FBI has outreach programs to try to develop sources in the Muslim community and solicit tips, but Mr. Cummings found little receptivity. He found that while Muslims have brought some cases to the FBI, Muslim leaders in particular are often in denial about the fact that the terrorists who threaten the United States are Muslims.

“I had this discussion with the director of a very prominent Muslim organization here in D.C.,” Mr. Cummings told me. “And he said, ‘Why are you guys always looking at the Muslim community?’ “

Mr. Cummings began laughing.

“OK, you know what I’ll do?” Mr. Cummings said. “I’ll start an Irish squad, or how about a Japanese squad? You want me to waste my time and your taxpayer’s dollars going to look at the Irish? They’re not killing Americans. Right now, I’m going to put my money and my people in a place where the threat is.” . . .

While Muslims will occasionally condemn al Qaeda, “rarely do we have them coming to us and saying, ‘There are three guys in the community that we’re very concerned about,’” Mr. Cummings said. “They want to fix it inside the community. They’re a closed group, a very, very closed group. It’s part of their culture that they want to settle the problem within their own communities. They’ve actually said that to us, which I then go crazy over.”. . .

“I talked to a very prominent imam in the U.S.,” Mr. Cummings said. “We would have our sweets and our sweet tea. We would talk a lot about Islam. I would say we understand Islam and where they’re coming from. We’d tell him what our mission is, trying to keep people from murdering Americans or anybody else, for that matter.”

Months later, the FBI found out that the man’s mosque had two extremists who were so radical that they kicked them out. Clearly, those two extremists would have been of interest to the FBI. If they only engaged in anti-American rhetoric, the FBI would have left them alone. More likely they were planning action to go with their rhetoric.

Mr. Cummings asked the imam, “What happened?”

“What do you mean?” the imam asked.

“Why didn’t you tell me about this?” the agent said.

“Why would I tell you about this?” the imam said. “They’re not terrorists,” he said of the radicals. “They just hate the U.S. government.”

This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who understands Islam, which considers non-Muslims to be third class citizens (behind Muslim women) and does not recognize the legitimacy of authority exercised by non-Muslims.

Plus, you know, evil is rarely self-aware, incapable of introspection, excuses its own behavior, and always tries to exert control.