King to Testify at British Parliamentary Hearing on Radicalization

Press Release

By:  Pete King
Date: Sept. 12, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, who has convened a series of hearings on radicalization within the Muslim-American community, will testify in London on September 13 before the British House of Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs.

The Home Affairs Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, has launched its own inquiry entitled "Roots of Violent Radicalisation."

According to Congressional Research Service and House of Commons researchers, Chairman King will be the first Member of Congress to testify before a Parliamentary hearing in the United Kingdom.

Chairman King said: "While I have consistently stated the overwhelming majority of Muslim-Americans are outstanding people, the reality is that radicalization within the Muslim-American community by al-Qaeda and its affiliates is a real threat to the security of our homeland. Fortunately, the Obama Administration recognizes this. The President's deputy national security advisor has warned that "al-Qaeda and its adherents have increasingly turned to…attempting to recruit and radicalize people to terrorism here in the United States…for the express purpose of trying to convince Muslim Americans to reject their country and attack their fellow Americans.' Attorney General Eric Holder said this is what keeps him awake at night. Clearly it is an issue that absolutely must be addressed, as I have begun to do with these hearings.

"I am honored to have been invited by Chairman Vaz to testify before the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee as our vital ally, the United Kingdom, struggles with this same threat within its own borders. I look forward to sharing a number of our preliminary findings with Chairman Vaz and the Committee."

Chairman Vaz said: "I am delighted that Congressman Peter King has accepted my invitation to visit the UK Parliament to launch our inquiry into the roots of violent radicalisation. This is a unique opportunity to create an unbreakable bond between Westminster and Washington and more specifically between the Homeland Security Committee and the Home Affairs Select Committee.

"The Committee on Homeland Security has investigated the issue of radicalisation in the American Muslim community very recently, including radicalisation in prisons, one of our particular interests, and the Congressman's insights will therefore be invaluable. I hope his visit will be the start of a close relationship between our two committees: the US and UK face many similar challenges in the spheres of crime, terrorism and immigration and I am sure we have much to learn from each other."

On March 10, Chairman King convened the first in the series of hearings, entitled "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."

The second hearing, on June 15, was entitled "The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons."

The third hearing, on July 27, was entitled "Al Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American Community and the Threat to the Homeland." Thus far, the Committee has heard testimony from 12 witnesses on the issue.

The Home Affairs Committee hearing will commence at 9:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m. EDT), with Chairman King's testimony to begin at 10:00 a.m. (5:00 a.m. EDT).

A webcast of the hearing will be available at http://homeland.house.gov/live and also at http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=9015.