King says the hearings are intended to highlight the growing threat of terror attacks at home and abroad, while Democrats and civil rights groups have called them a Joe McCarthy-type ‘witch hunt’ against a
religious fascist minority.
FOX NEWSThe hearing, to be held July 27, will be the third of its kind and will examine the recruiting of volunteers for al Shabaab, a Somalian group that the U.S. government has designated a terror organization, and which has links to al Qaeda.
In the past three years, the FBI has uncovered a wide-ranging recruitment effort within the US, with much of the activity centered on the Somali immigrant community in Minnesota. More than a dozen young men in the U.S. have traveled to Somalia, apparently to fight for al Shabaab, which means “the youth.”
“In a number of those cases, the men — including both Somali-Americans and other converts — have ended up carrying out suicide bombings or have otherwise been killed, without their families even knowing where their sons have gone,” King said in a statement. “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.”
As the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, King has often accused the Obama administration and congressional Democrats of underplaying the danger posed by would-be terrorists recruited inside the United States. He has argued that Democrats are too politically correct and too beholden to civil rights groups to aggressively pursue such plots.
King’s oft-repeated assertion that Muslim religious leaders discourage cooperation with investigators is a key source of friction between him and Muslim community groups. They charge King is conducting a modern-day version of the communist-hunting hearings from the 1950s led by Sen. Joe McCarthy, and that he is blaming an entire group for the actions of a few individuals.
King’s first hearing was a televised, emotionally-charged event, while the second, which focused on conversion of prison inmates, generated much less interest.