Jackson Lee at Radical Islam Hearing: Let's ‘Have a Hearing on Right-Wing Extremists’

July 27, 2011 - 2:35 PM

sheila jackson lee

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said at a July 27, 2011 hearing about the radicalization of Somali-Americans in the U.S. that Congress should hold hearings on 'right-wing extremists.' (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – At a hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security today about the radicalization of young Somali American Muslims by the al-Shabaab terrorist group, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said the committee should hold a hearing on “right-wing extremists” in the United States.

Jackson Lee used much of her allotted five minutes to question panelists with expertise on radicalization about the alleged hacking into telephones of 9-11 victims by the now-closed News of the World tabloid in England.

“I would add to that, that I would like to have a hearing on right-wing extremists, ideologues who advocate violence and advocate, in essence, the terrorizing of certain groups,” Jackson Lee said.

Before Jackson Lee was recognized by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the committee chairman, the panel of witnesses gave details about how al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, is recruiting young Somali men who live in the United States to travel to that African nation to participate  in terrorist training camps.

“Early in 2011, Canadian national security officials confirmed the disappearances of dozens of young Canadian Somali males who had traveled to Somalia to fight for the Al Shabaab, a terrorist group that is officially allied with al Qaeda and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” said Ahmed Hussen, Canadian Somali Congress National President, at the hearing. “Three of these individuals have died in Somalia fighting for this group.”

Rep. Peter King

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

“The unique and extraordinary threats to national security that foreign terrorist organizations present to the United States are abundantly clear,” W. Anders Folk, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, testified. “Al-Shabaab’s successful recruitment of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and the existence of a base of ideological and actual support for al-Shabaab in the United States raise a number of issues that require study in order to ensure that the United States maintains its safety in the face of the threat posed by the group.”

Minnesota has one of the largest Somali populations in the United States, according to witnesses who testified at the hearing.

In his opening remarks, Chairman King described how the hearing would reveal the “direct threat” al-Shabaab poses to the United States.

“You will hear how al-Shabaab, who bin Laden called one of the most important armies of Islam, is engaged in an ongoing, successful effort to recruit and radicalize dozens of Muslim-American jihadis, who pose a direct threat to the U.S.,” King said.

Jackson Lee, however, focused on what she called domestic “hate groups,” and asked that a 39-page document on such groups be added to the congressional record of the hearing, which King allowed.

9/11 NYC

One of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York begins to crumble in this photo taken Sept. 11, 2001 by the NYPD and obtained by ABC News. (AP Photo/NYPD via ABC News, Det. Greg Semendinger)

She also asked that two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documents regarding domestic terror cases be added to the record.

Jackson Lee said that the committee should be briefed by federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency.

“My concern with the focus of the hearings that we have had is the isolation of certain groups,” Jackson Lee said.