After Boston, we should put Muslims under surveillance, says Rep. King

President Obama cautioned the nation not to rush to judgment about the Boston Marathon bombers. But that’s not stopping Republican Rep. Peter King.

King, who chairs the House subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, is urging authorities to beef up their surveillance of Muslims in the U.S.  following Friday night’s arrest of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Police must “realize that the threat is coming from the Muslim community and increase surveillance there,” the New York lawmaker told National Review.

King—who spearheaded controversial hearings on the radicalization of Muslim-Americans in 2011—also told CNN that “we can’t be politically correct. I think we have to see, has radicalization extended into the Chechen community?”

Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, said in a statement that the Obama administration should resist the calls to treat Dzhokhar as an enemy combatant.

“This is not a foreign national caught on an enemy battlefield, but an American citizen arrested on American soil. The Justice Department has demonstrated a far greater ability to successfully prosecute suspected terrorists in federal courts than the military commissions have thus far been able to show. Nothing must be done to compromise the public safety, the ability of prosecutors to seek justice for the victims or our constitutional principles,” he said.

Coalition urges halt to House hearings on Muslim radicalization

Religious and civil rights groups say the hearings headed by Republican Rep. Peter T. King will demonize Muslim Americans. King remains unmoved.

A coalition of 51 religious and civil rights groups is calling on congressional leaders to stop upcoming hearings on Muslim extremism in the U.S. or have the investigation refocused to include other hate groups.
But King remained unmoved. Asked whether he would respond to a letter Muslim Advocates sent to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), King said: “I don’t believe it warrants an answer…. I am too busy preparing for the hearings.”

King appears to have Boehner’s support. Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman, said the speaker would not respond to the letter from Muslim Advocates. “Rep. King is chairman of the Homeland Security Committee,” Steel said.