Peter King, the controversial Republican congressman from New York who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, announced Tuesday that he will hold a third hearing on radicalization among Muslim-Americans next week.
While King's first hearing in March focused on Islamic radicalization in general and his second focused on radicalization in prisons, the July 27 hearing will be about al Shabaab, a Somalia-based terrorist organization that has made headlines for recruiting Somali-Americans in the Midwest.
In a press release released on Tuesday, King said:
“At this hearing, the third in a series, we will examine Somalia-based terrorist organization al-Shabaab’s ongoing recruitment, radicalization, and training of young Muslim-Americans and al-Shabaab’s linking up with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
“In Minnesota, Ohio, and other states, dozens of young Muslim males have been recruited, radicalized, and then taken from their communities for overseas terrorist training by al-Shabaab. In a number of cases, the men – including both Somali-Americans and other converts -- have ended up carrying out suicide bombings or have otherwise been killed, often without their families even knowing where their sons have gone. There has not been sufficient cooperation from mosque leaders. In at least one instance, a Minnesota imam told the desperate family of a missing young man not to cooperate with the FBI.
“There are growing concerns that al-Shabaab in Somalia is linking up with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen to better train these radicalized young men in order to attack Americans around the world, or potentially shift their focus to attacking our homeland.
“This coordinated and ongoing recruitment and radicalization of young Muslim men in the U.S. is a serious and growing threat to our homeland security and simply cannot be ignored.”
King has been criticized by Islamic organizations for his prior hearings, which many Muslim groups have said too broadly target their communities. Muslims groups have also criticized prior hearings for largely lacking Muslim witnesses. A witness list for next week's hearing has not been released.
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