Representative Peter King (R-NY) at a hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee.
Photograph by Alex Wong — Getty Images

Civil libertarians and constitutionalists can "cry all they want," Congressman Peter King said.

By Michal Addady
December 28, 2015

Republican representative Peter King is calling for the U.S. to perform surveillance on mosques.

King, who is a member of the House Homeland Security and Select Intelligence committees, appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to discuss the threat of terrorism. The interviewer read a statement, quoting King, in which the congressman said 24/7 surveillance is the “only way” to uncover a potential threat. He said it was done in Italian-American communities to expose the mafia and it was done in Irish communities to expose the Westies, adding: “You look where the terror threat is going to come from and right now it is going to come from the Muslim community.”

King responded to his own quote by saying that civil libertarians and constitutionalists can “cry all they want,” but “the fact is that’s where the threat is coming from.”

King cited the example of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombers, had been kicked out of a mosque because of his radical beliefs. The congressman argued that police receive little cooperation from Muslim community leaders, and if someone from that particular mosque had alerted authorities, the tragedy could have been prevented. However, members of the mosque have reportedly stated that there was no indication Tsarnaev was plotting an attack.

King’s sentiments echo that of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who has been under fire for making similar statements about Muslims. Following the Paris attacks, Trump advocated for a surveillance program on mosques, backing down on a previous statement just days later in which he proposed closing down some mosques completely.

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