The attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001, were simply one stage of battle in the larger war launched by Islamist terrorists.

An outcome of those jolting killings is that Americans have struggled ever since to fully understand this band of barbarians who have emerged from the sands of history to wage jihad in the 21st century. In other words, part of the long-term strategy is to confuse the West. Thus, while their fellow ideologues behead Christians and plan grotesque attacks, well-dressed operatives speak words dripping with honey for dupes in the West who can’t wrap their minds around the fact that we are at war.

Thankfully, not everyone is a dupe. A handful of watchmen/women are alerting the rest of us. One of the bravest is CBN Television host Erick Stakelbeck.

In many ways, Stakelbeck is no shrinking violet.

Get a load of the opening lines from his new book, “The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy”: “The alleged leader of Germany’s Muslim Brotherhood punched me. It was actually more of a playful nudge of my right shoulder, something an old friend might do while busting your chops. Yet I had met Ibrahim el-Zayat only minutes before.

“‘You should have asked me for some names,’ el-Zayat said as we stood in the lobby of a Cologne hotel. ‘I could have put you in touch with all the right people.’ I had just informed him that I had contacted a few leading Islamist figures in his home base of Cologne and gotten no response. Hence, the nudge and a look of feigned exasperation. How long must I suffer this infidel?”

In other words, Erick Stakelbeck doesn’t just report on the biggest story of our time from the comfortable confines of a Washington, D.C., studio – he gets out there as only a real investigative reporter can do, in order to fully report to the people.

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It’s fortunate for the rest of us that Stakelbeck abandoned plans years ago to be a sports reporter. His gritty, unvarnished truth-telling – from his perch as host of the wildly popular “The Watchmen” program on CBN – makes him one of the most important sources of information about radical Islam around.

In “The Brotherhood,” Stakelbeck skillfully explains just who this shadowy group is. Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood is the spiritual forefather of al-Qaeda. Along with a few others (Frank Gaffney, Steve Emerson, Robert Spencer, Pam Geller), Stakelbeck is fearless in exposing this mortal, existential threat.

“The Brotherhood” is full of all sorts of disturbing information, such as the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) operating on the Continent. The FIOE has made huge inroads into European society, lobbying for various Islamic initiatives and softening up our cousins. Stakelbeck has been there to see up close and personal just how such groups manipulate gullible Westerners.

Largely due to the reporting of Stakelbeck and his friends, there have been some gains; not all is lost. Continual exposure of the Islamists and continuing education for the public can stop this madness before it all ends tragically.

Witness the infamous mosque planned for Ground Zero; in Stakelbeck’s words: “At the time of this writing, the so-called Park51 project – a planned $100-million, 15-story ‘Islamic community center,’ which would have inhabited a building damaged by landing gear from one of the planes that struck the Twin Towers – has fizzled, with the building housing little more than a glorified Muslim prayer room frequented by a few dozen Friday worshippers.”

Stakelbeck opens each chapter very effectively, letting the reader know that he has firsthand knowledge about what he writes. One marvels at his ability (and that of his cameraman!) to penetrate these dark halls of Islam, where strategies are maintained 24/7.

Stakelbeck’s unique writing style jolts the reader, and it’s important to do so. For example, in discussing one hotbed of radical Islamist activity, he describes what surely is a scene from Gaza or Nablus.

But in fact, as Stakelbeck then reveals, “I was in Hilliard, Ohio, thousands of miles from the seething cauldron of the Palestinian territories and a world away from the unbridled radicalism of the Muslim Middle East. Or so I thought.”

“The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy,” is in my view a literally indispensable book if we are to understand the darkness that threatens us all.

Thank you, Erick Stakelbeck; your book deserves our highest recommendation.

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