Wed. May 22nd, 2024


By Rudy Takala (@RudyTakala)  9/10/15 2:45 PM

America’s intelligence officials need to do more to combat violent extremism from the Christian and Jewish communities, a House Democrat said on Thursday, one day before the anniversary of Sept. 11.
Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., told FBI Director James Comey to do more to educate the public on that topic. “I do want to say … director, respectfully … When we talk about radicalization, Islam does not have a monopoly on radicalization or even cult-like activity. There are so-called Christian groups that are purporting racial mythologies that are just as destructive in the Midwest.”

Carson, who has represented Indiana in the House since 2008, is the second Muslim elected to Congress. He used to work for the Department of Homeland Security’s Intelligence Fusion Center in Indianapolis, where he was part of an anti-terrorism unit.

Carson went on to reference his work experience. “When I worked at the Fusion Center, a lot of the calls that we got came from white supremacist groups claiming to represent Christianity,” he said. “Judaism is represented as well, and other groups. And so, I think that in our larger [countering violence extremism]effort, perhaps we can educate the public that Islam does not have a monopoly on radicalization.”

The comments came during a House Intelligence Committee on cybersecurity hearing, in which intelligence officials discussed efforts by groups such as the Islamic State to radicalize recruits online. Comey had just finished responding to an earlier question from Carson about whether there are “particular subsets of our society that are most greatly influenced” by online radicalization efforts.
“We see people who have problems with alcohol, or problems with their family, or problems with the law and are seeking an orientation in their life,” Comey said. “Social media works whether you’re trying to sell sneakers or the poison of the so-called Islamic State.”

Comey added that he wanted to send a “strong message of deterrence” to people. “This is not a way to find meaning in your life. “It’s a way to find years, maybe decades, in federal prison,” Comey said.
The feds have been arresting an increasing number of Americans for attempting to leave the country to assist the Islamic State. Last month, officials in Mississippi arrested 20-year-old Jaelyn Delshaun Young and 22-year-old Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla on charges that they were attempting to go to Syria for that purpose. The couple attempted to tell officials that they were leaving to go on a honeymoon.


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