WASHINGTON — A key US House of Representatives committee next week will hold the second in a controversial series of hearings on Muslim radicalization in the United States, the panel’s chairman announced Thursday.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, a Republican whose first session on the issue in March drew angry charges he was carrying out a religiously-based witch hunt, said the new hearing would take place June 15.
“At this hearing, we will look specifically at the extent of the dangerous problem of radicalization in US prisons,” King said in a statement.
“We have seen cases in which inmates have been radicalized at the hands of already locked-up terrorists or by extremist imam chaplains.
“We will focus on a number of the serious cases in which radicalized current and former inmates have planned and launched attacks or attempted to join overseas Islamic terrorist organizations.”
King has said Muslim leaders and mosque imams are doing too little to stop the radicalization of young Americans and are not cooperating with law enforcement.
His critics have charged that the New York Republican’s focus on Muslim Americans plays into the hands of extremists who say Washington is wrongly targeting Islam in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist strikes.
King promised the hearing would be a “deliberate and thoughtful examination of an issue that is too important for our security to ignore” and that US and overseas experts on the issue would testify.
A witness list was not immediately available.