Authorities still are trying to pinpoint the motives behind the Boston Marathon bombings, but a leading GOP congressman pulled no punches on Sunday and urged the FBI to focus on threats from within the Muslim community.
“Ninety-nine percent of Muslims are outstanding Americans, but the fact is, that’s where the threat is coming from,” Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on counterintelligence and terrorism, said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“If you know a threat is coming from a certain community, that’s where you look,” he added.
Terrorists’ strategy, Mr. King said, has changed since Sept. 11, 2001. No longer is al Qaeda or related groups plotting massive attacks from training camps in the Middle East. Instead, they’re using men such as the two suspected Boston bombers, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died during a shootout with police on Thursday night, and his brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was shot and remains in serious condition in a hospital. Both men were of Islamic faith.
“They’re getting people in our country who are under our radar screen with clean records,” Mr. King said.
He also blasted the FBI for failing to catch the two men before their bombs killed three and wounded more than 160 at the iconic Boston race on Monday. The FBI reportedly had interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev but found nothing to link him to terrorism.
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Meanwhile, Boston’s Muslim community has strongly condemned the attacks.
“We cannot help but feel angry that all this has happened to our city,” the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center said in a statement. “Both of these suspects had been known to our Boston community — to our public schools, to their local boxing club, to one of our faith communities at the Cambridge mosque, and even to the FBI. Yet, no one inside these institutions was able to predict these acts of terror by the alleged suspects. This hurts, and we wish we all … could have done something to prevent this.”