By Joel C. Rosenberg

(Washington, D.C., June 3, 2008) — The Dead Heat book tour has just come to an end at a conference of nearly 10,000 in Tucson.

Thank you so much to all of you who have shown interest in the book, welcomed me to your cities, invited me onto your radio and TV shows, written about the book on your weblogs, and emailed me with your encouragement and support. I deeply appreciate it and I hope and pray that we’ve had an opportunity to get Americans thinking seriously about the threats we face during this election year, and in the years ahead.

Over the past two and a half months, by God’s grace, I have had the privilege of addressing more than 85,000 people at events around the country, and more than 15 million people through various media interviews. The novel has spent the last nine weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, reaching as high as #4. In May, it hit #2 on the Publishers Weekly Religion best-seller list.

Still, one question continues to haunt me: How many Americans truly appreciate just how determined various extremist groups are about using nuclear weapons to decapitate the U.S. government and annihilate the American people? Not enough, in my view.

That is, in part, why I wrote Dead Heat, to warn people of an increasingly real worst case scenario: multiple nuclear terrorist attacks against the American homeland. Yet today I remained convinced that far too many Americans are being lulled into a false sense of security. Too many have become complacent. They think the threat has passed. But it has not. And if we are not careful, we may be blindsided by an email we don’t see coming.

Dead Heat, of course, is only a novel. But now, just as the book tour has come to an end, we find new evidence that al-Qaeda is, in fact, envisioning the use of weapons of mass destruction inside the United States, in cities like Washington, D.C.

Consider the following story: “Washington is laid to waste. The Capitol is a blackened, smoking ruin. The White House has been razed. Countless thousands are dead. This is the apocalyptic scene terrorists hope to create if they ever get their hands on a nuclear bomb.”

So began a March 30th article in the U.K. Daily Mail, along with this computer-generated image, which was posted this an Islamic extremists’ website.

“It appeared as rumours swept the Internet that the FBI was warning that an Al Qaeda video was about to be released urging militants to use weapons of mass destruction to attack the West….The FBI was quick to point out that it had not issued any warning and that the video was not an official Al Qaeda release through its media arm, Al Sahab, but simply an ‘ amateur’ collection of old footage spliced together and posted on the Internet. U.S. analysts said a lot of effort had been put into the video — entitled Nuclear Jihad, The Ultimate Terror — with graphics, music, and clips of different leaders and groups. The same expertise seems to have gone into creating this image of a devastated Washington. Al Sahab puts out more than 80 ‘officially sanctioned’ videos a year to keep up the propaganda on the West. And the Internet shows how easy it is to stir up militancy. One message with the Washington picture said: ‘The next strike’s in the heart of America. When? When? When? And How?’ Last night FBI sources said Al Qaeda was desperate to get its hands on a weapon of mass destruction, be it nuclear, chemical, or biological.”

What will it take to get America to wake up to this threat, before it is too late?

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