It's time to put political correctness aside and get serious about fighting the threat of Islamic terrorism, including infiltrating ethnic Muslim communities to gain information that could stop attacks, Rep. Pete King said Monday.
"I was so pleased yesterday when Prime Minister [Theresa] May used the words 'Islamic extremism,'" the New York Republican, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and chairman of the House Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" co-host Shannon Bream.
King said he believes that people in the community "should welcome the fact" police are working to stop potential terrorists, and by investigating Muslim communities, it's still the same as investigations undertaken in the past for other criminal activities.
"When they went after the Mafia, the FBI infiltrated the Italian American communities," said King. "That's the way it has to be done. I don't know why anyone in the community who wants to stop terrorism would be opposed to this."
The New York City Police Department has "run this for years," and has been able to stop "15, 16 attacks against New York."
King insisted he was not talking about "breaking and entering or talking about doing anything without warrants."
"We're at war," said King. "That's the reality here. We can do it within the Constitution, we have to do it within the Constitution, but again it's time to put political correctness aside."
The threat, said King, is from within, and could constitute either lone wolves or people working small networks, such as what was used for the Manchester and London attacks.
"The police have coordinated efforts similar to what was done with the mob," said King. "You can have all the security in the world. If that security shows up after the fact, the lives have already been lost. To head off the attack, you have to have intelligence. You only get intelligence by people cooperating or by having informers and undercovers working in those communities with constant surveillance."
King also would not rule out entering mosques, as "we know the threat is coming from within the Muslim community."
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