Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) says the deadly hostage situation in Sydney underscores the need for increased government surveillance, applauding former programs that spied on Muslim communities.

“It shows to me the need for increased surveillance, heavy surveillance, and to get as many sources as we can into these communities where these type of lunatics may come from,” King said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”

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“And not just lunatics — people who are on the edge and who have these Islamist leanings,” the lawmaker added.

King went on to bash the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times for what he referred to as “attacking the police.”

Reporting by The Associated Press and later the Times uncovered an entire New York Police Department unit tasked with infiltrating Middle Eastern and Muslim communities and building files on thousands of Americans and residents in the hopes of stopping the next terror attack. Upon the discovery of the program, the NYPD shut down the unit, but the ACLU and others are supporting legal challenges against the department.

“The fact is the threat is real, and we have to have sources in those communities, we have to monitor the communities, and so we have to try to stop it before it happens,” he said.

An armed gunman identified as Man Haron Monis took hostages in a café in downtown Sydney Monday morning. He put an Islamist flag in the window of the café, and police later learned he was an Iranian-born Muslim with a criminal record.

Police said that officers killed Monis during a dramatic raid into the café, and two hostages also died.