Rep. Peter King: Norway Terror Attack Won't Alter Muslim Radicalization Hearing

July 25, 2011 11:13 am ET — Matt Gertz

Rep. Peter King

During his June hearing on "The Threat of Muslim Radicalization in U.S. Prisons," House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY) defended spending his committee's time on an issue that has not had a significant impact in the United States by pointing to Europe's experience with Muslim prison radicalization:

Last week, the British Home Secretary emphasized the growing threat of Islamic radicalization and unveiled its new counter-radicalization strategy to thwart terrorist recruitment behind bars.

Just as home grown Al Qaeda terrorist attacks in Britain- including the 2005 subway attacks in London, the 2006 liquid explosives plot to blow up American planes flying from Britain and the 2007 car bomb attack on the Glasgow Airport - were emulated several years later in the United States with the attempted New York subway bombings in September 2009, the Fort Hood murders in November 2009 and the attempted Times Square bombing in May 2010, we must assume the same with prison radicalization.

Given King's attention to the link between foreign and U.S. terrorist activities, one would have expected him to pay special attention to the case of Anders Behring Breivik, who on Friday allegedly bombed Norwegian government buildings and killed scores of youths at a Norwegian Labor Party camp.

According to the New York Times, Breivik "was deeply influenced by a small group of American bloggers and writers who have warned for years about the threat from Islam" and "denounced Norwegian politicians as failing to defend the country from Islamic influence." It appears that anti-Islamic terrorism has come to Europe — which means, based on King's stated views, it could soon arrive in the United States.

But according to the Times, King will not allow Friday's events to sway this week's hearing on Muslim radicalization:

Despite the Norway killings, Representative Peter T. King, the New York Republican who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he had no plans to broaden contentious hearings about the radicalization of Muslim Americans and would hold the third one as planned on Wednesday.

For months, critics have pointed out that King's myopic focus on Muslim radicalization ignored the wide array of terrorist attacks committed in the United States by non-Muslims. But King has refused to allow current events to impact the course of his hearings.