Rep. King: Law Enforcement Must Focus on Muslims

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 20 2013 1:37 PM

Rep. Peter King: Stop Being Politically Correct, Let's Focus on Muslim Communities

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Rep. Peter King was one of four lawmakers to sign a statement Saturday calling for the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect to be tried as an enemy combatant

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, has had enough of anyone who doesn’t think profiling Muslims is a good idea when it comes to combating terrorism. On Saturday, King said it’s time to stop being so “politically correct” and recognize the real threat to the United States comes from Islamic terrorism, which means law enforcement must put a heightened focus on Muslim communities.

“Obviously the main international base, the terrorist threats are coming from the Muslim community,” King told Politico. "There have been 16 terror plots against New York [since Sept. 11, 2001], all Islamist-based. We’re at war with Islamic terrorism. It’s coming from people within the Muslim community by the terrorists coming from that community, just like the mafia comes from Italian communities.”

Although it isn’t even clear whether law enforcement officials have been able to question Dzhokar Tsarnaev, for King the suspects' motivation is quite clear. “I think these two obviously were Islamic terrorists motivated by Islamist views,” said King. Politico points out that during the interview King was also sure to point out “that he thinks the bulk of Muslim Americans are good people.”

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King was one of four Republican lawmakers to release a statement Saturday morning calling on the surviving Boston Marathon suspect to be tried as an enemy combatant. “We should be focused on gathering intelligence from this suspect right now that can help our nation understand how this attack occurred and what may follow in the future. That should be our focus, not a future domestic criminal trial that may take years to complete,” reads the statement signed by King and Sens. Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Kelly Ayotte.

Although the lawmakers celebrate that the bombing suspect was not read Miranda rights, “we have concerns that limiting this investigation to 48 hours and exclusively relying on the public safety exception to Miranda, could very well be a national security mistake.”

Read the full statement after the jump:

We applaud our law enforcement for their hard work and bravery in Boston.

It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city. The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.

The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent.

We are encouraged our High value detainee interrogation team (HIG) is now involved and working to gather intelligence about how these terrible acts were committed and possibility of future attacks.

A decision to not read Miranda rights to the suspect was sound and in our national security interests. 

However, we have concerns that limiting this investigation to 48 hours and exclusively relying on the public safety exception to Miranda, could very well be a national security mistake. It could severely limit our ability to gather critical information about future attacks from this suspect.

We should be focused on gathering intelligence from this suspect right now that can help our nation understand how this attack occurred and what may follow in the future. That should be our focus, not a future domestic criminal trial that may take years to complete.

The public safety exception is a domestic criminal law doctrine that allows questioning of a criminal suspect without Miranda warnings for a limited time and purpose.

We hope the Obama Administration will consider the enemy combatant option because it is allowed by national security statutes and U.S. Supreme Court decisions. 

We continue to face threats from radical Islamists in small cells and large groups throughout the world. They have, as their primary focus, killing as many Americans as possible, preferably within the United States. We must never lose sight of this fact and act appropriately within our laws and values.

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