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Tue December 6, 2011
Next Muslim Radicalization Congressional Hearing Will Focus On Military
Rep. Peter King is set to continue his series of controversial hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims with a fourth one tomorrow. King, a New York Republican along with Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, will explore how radicalization threatens the military.
In announcing the House Committee on Homeland Security hearing, King mentioned the cases of Maj. Nidal Hasan and Carlos Bledsoe. If you remember, Hasan has been accused of killing 13 and wounding 32 during a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood in Killeen, Texas. Bledsoe is accused of killing one U.S. soldier in an attack on a Arkansas military recruiting center.
As we reported in March, Bledsoe's father testified before this committee saying "Islamic extremists preyed on his son and programmed him to hate Americans."
King told The Hill a bit more about his intentions with the hearing:
"'There is an attempt by Islamists to join the military and infiltrate the military, and it's more of a threat than the average American is aware of right now,' said King in an interview with The Hill on Monday.
"The issue was brought to the front burner for King after it was raised by Paul Stockton, the assistant secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs. King said he feels the Obama administration is just as concerned with the issue as he is, and hopes to develop a working partnership to address some of the inadequacies that will come up at Wednesday's hearing.
"'I think more can be done,' he said. 'But this is not going to be any attempt to bash the administration, necessarily. From my perspective it's going to be a productive hearing and it's not going to turn into a partisan fight.'"
In a statement, Lieberman said the threat of homegrown terrorism "has increased dramatically and clearly, members of the Armed services are a high-value target."
Among the witnesses scheduled to appear before the panel are Stockton, a terrorism expert from West Point and Daris Long, the father of William Long, the Army private killed in the recruiting center attack.