Rep. Peter King said Wednesday’s attack on a Paris newspaper that killed a dozen people highlights the need for enhanced police surveillance in Muslim communities to help combat terrorism.
“It shows us that we should put political correctness aside and realize that it is important to have police in the communities to be using sources, to be using informers,” the conservative New York Republican told Fox News on Wednesday.
“Let's face it. The threat is coming from — for the most part, it's coming out of the Muslim community. It's a small percentage, but that's where it's coming from.”
King said law enforcement spying of certain ethnic communities is nothing new, saying that police for decades have used such tactics to combat the Italian-American Mafia and the Westies, a gang that sprang from New York City's Irish-American community in the 1960s.
“We have to be able to go in there and find out what's happening so we can be tipped off and not stand back and treat all communities as if they're the same,” he said. "If it's Islamist terrorism, we have to have more surveillance in those communities.”
The Associated Press reported that three masked gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar!" stormed the Paris offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people, including its editor, before escaping in a car. The publication's caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad have frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims.
King said that while it’s uncertain if enhanced surveillance could have stopped the Paris shooting, “it shows the absolute necessity” of “on-the-ground intelligence.”
“You can't provide security for every soft target in a major city. But if you have surveillance, if you're in the community, if you have informers, that shows how essential this [is], like the NYPD's been doing over the years,” he said.