– Lauren Humphrey
Today Congressman Pete King (R-NY) held his third hearing on Islamic radicalization in the United States. Specifically, this hearing focused on al Shabaab, the Somalia-based terrorist group closely associated with al-Qaeda. Al Shabaab has recruited Muslim youth in such states as Minnesota and Ohio.
The panel included Ahmed Hussen, President of the Canadian Somali Congress; Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; William Anders Folk, Former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota; and Tom Smith, Police Chief in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Rep. King insisted that his series of hearings, narrowly focused on the threat of Islamic terrorists, were necessary, as “only one threat has killed more than three thousand Americans.” He chastised “the vacuous ideologues at the New York Times” and other “elements of the politically correct media” for noting that in light of the recent bombing in Norway, these hearings should not focus on Islamic radicalization. “I will continue to hold these hearings so long as I am the Chairman of this Committee,” he stated.
Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS) asked the committee to “remember how our words reverberate beyond this room.” He expanded on the bombing and shootings in Norway, reminding the committee that the attack was carried out by an anti-Islamic radical and “that the madness of terrorism cannot be neatly confined to any one religion, one people or one nation.”
Just as they had in the previous hearings on radicalizations, Democrats called for a broadening of the scope to include other threats of terrorism. Rep. Richmond (D-LA) also pointed out that the series of hearings was repetitive and proposed that the committee now focus on remedying the problem of radicalization.