GOP lawmaker calls for 'increased surveillance' of Muslims after attack

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) called for “increased surveillance” of Muslims on Friday, saying the Boston Marathon bombing suspects' links to Chechnya represented a “new front” in the war on terror. 

“Police have to be in the community, they have to build up as many sources as they can, and they have to realize that the threat is coming from the Muslim community and increase surveillance there,” the chairman of the House subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence told National Review. “We can’t be bound by political correctness. I think we need more police and more surveillance in the communities where the threat is coming from.”

He went on to suggest that the two suspects' Chechen background and Tamerlan Tsarnaev's visit to Russia last year suggested increased radicalization of the Chechen community. The two brothers immigrated to the United States in 2001 from Kyrgyzstan, and the FBI has so far not released any evidence that they did not act alone.

“There’s never been any history of any threats emanating in this country from the Chechen community,” King told the Review. “So in a way this opens up a new front in the war.”

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Later, on CNN, King said reports that Tamerlan Tsarnaev followed a radical cleric linked to al Qaeda needed to be probed. He said homegrown terrorism presented a more dangerous threat than attackers coming in from overseas, who might be easier to stop.

“Obviously, something happened to these two, and it's something that has to be really examined and examined fully,” he said.

King acknowledged that, so far, there's no evidence that the attackers were anything more than disaffected youth who self-radicalized.

“There is a question as to whether these two on their own could have done all that's been done,” he said. “But the fact is right now there's no evidence at all” of a wider threat.

And he defended his earlier statement comparing the Boston bombing, which killed three people, to the coordinated 2008 attack on Mumbai, which left 164 people dead — including nine of the 10 attackers.

“My speculation is that these two never intended to escape,” King said. “You don't have a second round of explosives unless you're going to carry out a second wave of attacks. So when they went out today, I don't think it was to escape ... I think they were going to go down fighting.”

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