King reveals threat against him

Mar 10, 2011 Issues: Domestic Radicalization / Radicalization Hearings

By: Jennifer Epstein
Politico
March 10, 2011
 

Ahead of his controversial hearing Thursday on the “radicalization” of American Muslims, Rep. Peter King is revealing that he has been under police protection for months because of an overseas threat against him.

The New York Republican has since December had around-the-clock security provided by the New York Police Department and Nassau County police, he confirmed to POLITICO Thursday morning.

The police, he said, “do the threat analysis, they decide what type of coverage they believe is necessary,” and, since mid-to-late November, the threat against him has grown. “They’re the ones who picked up the threats, who have analyzed them, and it’s in their hands, so I’m satisfied.”

King, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, first announced plans for hearings examining Al Qaeda’s recruitment efforts late last year. He’s had security for the last year and a half, he said.

At King’s request, Capitol Police will be on hand at Thursday’s hearing, with officers stationed in and around the hearing room and in his office.

“We have to be ready” for protesters to try to interrupt the hearing, as is common during controversial panels, King said. “Obviously protesters will be removed and we’ll continue with the hearing.”

Despite the threats, King has pushed ahead in his determination to examine possible terrorist recruitment from within the U.S. Muslim community. “If we know a threat is there and I’m chairman of the committee in charge of homeland security, how can we not investigate it?” he said Thursday on “Don Imus in the Morning.”

In his opening remarks at the hearing, King plans to say that he is “well aware that the announcement of these hearings has generated considerable controversy and opposition.” But, he will add, “Congressional investigation of Muslim American radicalization is the logical response to the repeated and urgent warnings which the Obama administration has been making in recent months.”

Meanwhile, King continues to resist his critics. He told Imus he’s not sure why he’s being attacked.

“All kidding aside, it’s hard to figure out – whether the attacks are coming from Kim Kardashian or The New York Times – it seems to be just a hysterical type attack that I’m out to demonize Muslims, that some are saying I want to set up internment camps, that it’s a religious war,” he said.