King Statement on Obama Administration Violent Extremism Strategy

Aug 3, 2011 Issues: Domestic Radicalization / Radicalization Hearings, Counterterrorism

Washington, D.C. (Wednesday, August 3, 2011)– Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, issued this statement following the Obama Administration’s release of its National Strategy entitled “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States”:

“I look forward to thoroughly reviewing the National Strategy released today.  I appreciate the Administration’s work on the Strategy.  I particularly agree with its finding that ‘al Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents represent the preeminent terrorist threat to our country.’

“My concerns are with language in the report which suggests some equivalency of threats between al-Qaeda and domestic extremists and also with the politically correct inference that legitimate criticism of certain radical organizations or elements of the Muslim-American community should be avoided.

“The report would have been strengthened by incorporating straight talk such as Attorney General Holder’s December 10, 2010 speech to Muslim Advocates when he made ‘no apologies’ for sting operations and said ‘those who characterize the FBI’s activities as entrapment simply do not have their facts straight.’

“Similarly, while I certainly support community involvement and initiatives, we must ensure that these do not become politically correct feel-good encounters which ignore the threats posed by dangerous individuals in the community.  While we must assure the Muslim-American community that we will address real grievances, we must also remind its leaders that they must demonstrate leadership and cooperation.  We should also encourage moderate Muslim-American leaders to step forward and assert themselves. 

“Let me emphasize that in practice I support much of the Administration’s counterterrorism efforts, which have been targeted and tough.  I trust that today’s report does not indicate any stepping away from those efforts.” 

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