Thompson urges King to widen hearings on domestic extremists

The minority leader of the House Committee on Homeland Security urged the committee’s new chairman to widen the scope of upcoming and potentially controversial hearings on radical Islam.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), ranking Democratic member of the committee, said on Jan. 21 the attempted bombing of a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane, WA on Jan. 17 was evidence that focusing on domestic Islamic was shortsighted and a wider inquiry was needed.

Although the investigation into who left the pipe bomb in the backpack at the parade continues, given the event, there is speculation it was left by homegrown, non-Islamic extremists. The bomb, equipped with a remote detonation switch and augmented with items to make blast even deadlier, was detected by three citizens who noticed the unattended backpack and reported it to authorities.

“Sadly, this incident has been all but ignored by the national media and the Congress. I am concerned that House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King has chosen to singularly focus on the threat posed by Islamic extremist groups,” said Thompson.

GSN: Government Security News
1/24/10