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March 15, 2011

Comments

chris

I am surprised that you would fall victim to the unrelenting campaign to portray this hearing as an attack on Islam. I find no evidence to give credibility to this assertion.

The real goal of the hearings was to understand this growing concern and how to combat a spate of homegrown terrorism.

King, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is just carrying out his responsibilities after foiled plots over Detroit, Times Square, and the Ft. Hood massacre to name a few troubling incidences.

Here are the major points I learned from these hearings:
• Yes, it is clear that al-Qaida has shifted strategy in attacking the US.
• The witnesses include family members of young men who were inspired by others to go into terrorism, with deadly consequences.
• National Intelligence Director James Clapper said 2010 saw more plots involving homegrown Sunni extremists — those ideologically aligned with al-Qaida — than in the previous year.
• We also learned that our prisons are a incubator for radicalization.

Please share from the record how these hearings labeled Muslims as terrorists and restrict or violated their treasured religious liberty?

Monte

Chris, if it is going to be a hearing on terrorism, then it should have included reports on more than one religion. To focus on one religion as the sole source of terrorism is not factual, because there is much evidence of Christians and others involved in terrorism of various kinds. And it creates the illusion that the terrorism incidents are somehow related to the nature of the Muslim faith itself. The chairman of this committee knows that terrorism is a much wider problem than any one religion because he has been involved with Irish terrorists. It is the focus on the Muslim religion instead of a focus on terrorism that I find concerning.

One other point: Are congressional hearings of any use in combatting terrorism? Isn't terrorism, by its very nature, best acted on secretly by the FBI, CIA, etc.?

chris

Monte here is my dilemma. The subject of the House committee's inquiry isn't novel, precedent setting, or unique to Peter King. Several other hearings preceded this one.
• In September 2006, the Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI gave testimony about Islamic radicalization before the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment.
• In 2007, New York City Police Department issued a 90-page report on the topic.
• Most recently, LA Police and other law enforcement agencies held a two-day "radicalization conference.
In prior times hearings have been held on the KKK and the mafia, which have Christian affiliations.
The affiliation of the moment seem to warrant the inquiry.

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