• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Guest Blogger: Rep. Pete King (R-NY) on Al-Qaeda

    In some respects, the recent attempted Times Square car bombing and the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized citizen, point to a significant success in America’s Global War on Terror.

    In the aftermath of 9/11, our government quickly reformed the Intelligence Community and established the Department of Homeland Security, moves which have been successful in making it more difficult for foreign terrorists to enter the country and carry out attacks. U.S. military action has weakened al-Qaeda Central.

    But this has also created a new challenge: the battlefront has shifted from overseas to our homeland.

    Al-Qaeda has determined that it can achieve its jihadist agenda more easily by recruiting operatives from within the U.S. (citizens, in some cases)—those who have no longstanding previous ties to Islamic jihadism or international terror organizations. Thus, they are often below the radar of intelligence and law enforcement officials.

    Consider just a few of the more recent cases. Shahzad is a U.S. citizen. Najibullah Zazi, who has pled guilty to conspiring to blow up the NYC subway system, was a legal permanent resident. U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, was a Virginia-born citizen.

    Unfortunately, this adaptation by al-Qaeda means that we must adapt as well.

    The fact that terrorists are in the U.S. legally is a game-changer that makes it more difficult for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to identify, monitor and preempt future attacks. It is more difficult to get advance notice of other pending attacks. It is more difficult to determine where those attacks might originate.

    But there are actions that the Obama Administration can take to ease this difficulty.

    First, we should treat terror suspects as enemy combatants and not as criminal defendants.  Sadly, the Obama Administration insists on defaulting to the civilian criminal court system as quickly as possible.

    In the meantime, we can—and should—change the way we issue Miranda warnings to ensure we treat terrorists as we should treat terrorists and not as we would bank robbers. After Shahzad was arrested trying to flee the country, I said that despite the fact that he was a U.S. citizen, law enforcement and intelligence officers should gather as much intelligence from him as possible. I was roundly criticized by the liberal left.

    Within days, we learned that law enforcement officials were, indeed, taking advantage of the public safety, or “ticking time bomb,” exception to the Miranda requirement and interrogating him before informing him of his “right to remain silent.”

    Then we learned, via Attorney General Eric Holder, that the Obama Administration is considering “modifying the rules that interrogators have” when terror suspects are brought into custody here on U.S. soil. I welcome the Attorney General’s realization that we have to adapt to al-Qaeda’s new type of terrorist.

    Additionally, the next time that law enforcement officials capture a terrorist in our homeland, Holder’s Department of Justice should consult the Director of National Intelligence and others in the Intelligence Community before giving any Miranda warning. This coordination, which has apparently not been taking place, would provide interrogators with the information they need to ask the right questions and save lives.

    By now focusing on recruiting Americans and legal U.S. residents, al-Qaeda has shifted in the methods it uses in its effort to destroy our nation. Now, the Obama Administration must make a critical shift, as well, in the methods it uses to ensure that our nation defeats our enemy.

    King is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Chair of the National Security Solutions Group.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Guest Blogger: Rep. Pete King (R-NY) on Al-Qaeda

    1. Pam NC says:

      This is definately a complicated war and we all must do our part its sad but we should suspect any one and let the proper athorities know.I realy considered this would happen after 9-11.These people are cunning but we must be wise as serpants and gentle as doves.


      Obama has no intention accepting the war on terror exists. Why would he, they are his people This thing posing as our president is really disgraceful, my opinion. He allows Caldrone to bad mouth our county. This to me is the most disgraceful. Illegal Aliens are a serious problem. What the devil is he doing about it, not a thing worth discussing. He is suppose to be the president of one of the most fantastic countries in the Universe and bashes it himself and allows who ever whats to do it. My opinion once again, he disgraces the office of the President of the U S A like no other. No plan to visit Arlington to honor our fallen heros, like all prior president. He will visit his buddies in Chicago, not that is really a must. May I say to all that were foolish enough to vote for this *****change*****, happy are you. You have helped this horror to transform America to something we will not recognize Our future generation will bear the brundt of you horrible mistake on Nov 2008. To say the Biggest Mistake Ever Made is an understatement. .

    3. Jo Rosa..... Malvern says:

      thanks peter king for seeing things the way they are and not going around blindfolded! your judgement is quite valuable, keep up your hard work as it is thoroughly appreciated..

    4. JonthePatriot says:

      This way of thinking, will lead to abuse in the system. We can't fix every wrong in the system, by tyring to correct it with another 'wrong'…It just doesn't work that way and to automatically think that someone is on the 'left' when speaking out against this type of tyrannical misuse of our Constitution is beyond me. Anyone who truly believes in the Consitution would rail against the idea of taking away a 'citizens' rights, especially miranda rights and a right to a speedy trial, even though this guy has sided with the terrorist. Are we going to arrest 'CODE PINK" and throw them all in jail also without miranda rights or a rights to a speedy trial? This is no different than the monstrousity we call the "PATRIOT ACT"….Sure, when Bush was in, he only seemed to abuse it with some illegal wire tapping. But now we have another President and administration that we must trust with this anti-constitutional act and we are somehow supposed to swallow this line of B.S. that it won't every be misused against the American people?? It is time to wake up America!! Giving away freedom for the idea of security is a trap!!!! You will be sorry….

      "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety". Ben Franklin

    5. Billie says:

      terrorists will is to kill. purse snatchers will is to steal. Both have the choice to carry out their will. ONE REMOVES HUMAN LIVES WITHOUT RECOGNITION, BUT TO FULFILL THEIR FALSE DEFINITION OF MARTYRDOM.

      Gosh Mr. President, what is YOUR definition of martyrdom? it is dangerous to have someone in the highest position of the world, who values human life discriminatingly.


      Al-Qaeda is a creation of our own government you are proving that the aim all along has been to target American citizens. This propaganda must stop. Wake up the constitution and bill of rights has been suspended by sociopaths like Rep. Pete King.GOD HELP US ALL.

    7. Harriet Ebel, Eugene says:

      I pray "God speed" in your quest to change or make right what needs to be done to more effectively protect our country. Terrorists cannot and should not be given the same rights that our civilized population enjoys. The Bible tells us that a time will come when "good" is bad, and "bad" is good. We have definetly crossed that line when our own citizens cannot recognize evil for what it is.

    8. danny roberts says:

      thank you ,Peter King

      keep up the good work!

    9. dennis mckay, edmond says:

      While I am grateful for Rep. King's stalwart efforts to do what he can to uphold and defend America and her Constitution, I do not agree that the arrest of the Times Square bomber points to a success, significant or otherwise, in America's war on terror. The failure of this Islamic-fascist to detonate his bomb can likely and only be attributed to his incompetence at setting an alarm clock. While mundane mistakes such as these would for others lead to tardiness; in this case it saved hundreds if not thousands of innocent lives. I can see no facet of the near catastrophe that points to successful action by our government to impede him in any way from carrying out this mass murder. Even more astonishing than the fact that Inside Edition did more to find out about the past connections of this "sub-prime mortgage victim" after the fact, is the spectacular failure of our crack security team to detect the intentions of this Muslim madman. Like the pitiably paraplegic Fort Hood "shooter" (apparently he was cleaning his pistol) and the Fruit O' Kaboom Christmas bomber; he did everything but brandish a sword shouting "Death to the Infidels" at a Jewish daycare. This while collecting beau coup travel miles at the special U.S. government "no fly rate". If this is success, I'd hate to see failure.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.