King defends past IRA support, terror hearings

The New York congressman and chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, defends his ties to the IRA

By Eileen Sullivan
March 8, 2011 11:01PM (UTC)
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FILE - House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this Feb. 16, 2011 file photo. A coalition of over 100 interfaith, nonprofit and governmental organizations plans to rally in New York City Sunday March 6, 2011 against a planned congressional hearing scheduled by U.S. Rep. Peter J. King of New York on Muslims' role in homegrown terrorism. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) (AP)

Rep. Peter King, who will hold hearings this week on Islamic radicalism, is defending his support in the 1980s and 1990s of the Irish Republican Army's political wing.

The New York Republican says the IRA and al-Qaida are very different -- the IRA was a narrowly focused homegrown movement while al-Qaida has attacked the U.S. and other countries. King said in an interview Tuesday he was right to advocate that the IRA be brought into peace negotiations to stop the violence.


King will preside over Thursday's congressional hearing, which has sparked protests on grounds it unfairly targets Muslims. King says he believes the Muslim community should do more to renounce al-Qaida and work with law enforcement.

Eileen Sullivan

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Peter King R-n.y.