Who's testifying at the Muslim radicalization hearings
Emily Smith of northern Virginia waits to enter the hearing room before the House Homeland Security Committee's Muslim radicalization hearing.
March 10th, 2011
09:18 AM ET
4 years ago

Who's testifying at the Muslim radicalization hearings

Washington (CNN) - The House Homeland Security Committee is set to open Thursday the first in a series of hearings looking into alleged radicalization in the Muslim community, led by Republican committee Chairman Rep. Peter King of New York.

Here's a look at who's testifying at the hearings:

Zuhdi Jasser

Zuhdi Jasser is a physician and president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. He founded the group after the 9/11 terrorist attacks as "an effort to provide an American Muslim voice advocating for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, and the separation of mosque and state," according to AIFD's website. Jasser is a former lieutenant commander in the U.S Navy and a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal.

Abdirizak Bihi

Abdirizak Bihi is the director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center. According to the organization's website, Bihi has been organizing the Minneapolis Somali-American community since 1996. His "vision came directly from the experience of his father, who was imprisoned for seventeen years in Somalia for consistently speaking out on behalf of community members. His mission: Educating and training Somali leaders for civic action."

Melvin Bledsoe

Melvin Bledsoe is the father of Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the man responsible for the 2009 fatal attack on the Little Rock Army Recruiting Center killing. According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Bledsoe will say at the hearings that "Islamic radicals programmed and trained" his son to kill.

Leroy Baca

Leroy Baca is the Los Angeles County sheriff and retired member of the U.S. Marine Corps. He was sworn in as the county's sheriff in 1998 and reelected in 2006. Baca commands the largest Sheriff?s Department in the country and is director of Homeland Security-Mutual Aid for California Region I.


Filed under: Peter King
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. grrace

    Peter King is a disgrace. He is not American. In a DEMOCRACY everyone is EQUAL. If you reject this principal, you are NOT American.

    March 10, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    Testify about WHAT??????
    What do you think holding 3 million Americans hostage because of a few nut jobs who act out their insanity???
    Another embarassement on this country, and you would THINK that people learn after what has happened in the past.

    I am just glad that when it comes to the knuckleheads of American History Peter King will always be on that list from now on....

    March 10, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Just keep on trashing the constitution, Peter.

    March 10, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    IRA only killed Brits, so that terrorist organization was supported by King.

    March 10, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. Clwyd

    Here in Wisconsin we remember the legacy of Joe McCarthy! We don't need another nut case like him or the results that followed.

    March 10, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. leapfrog

    I'm sure Joseph McCarthy will sleep safer in his grave now that Peter King is on the job.

    March 10, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. John in Brooklyn

    King really needs to be pressed hard on his support of the IRA, a ruthless terrorist organization in the UK. King has even indicated that he would understand if innocent civilians were hurt or killed in IRA attacks. It is ironic that 1) this man would have the nerve to talk about radicalization and 2) that the Republican Party would allow a known backer of the IRA to serve as the Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee.

    March 10, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    "According to the organization's website, Bihi has been organizing the Minneapolis Somali-American community since 1996. His mission: Educating and training Somali leaders for civic action."

    Perhaps Mr. King will be subpoenaing ex Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to explain what, if anything, Pawlenty has done these past 8 years to address the Somalian *home grown* terrorist radicalization from within the Minnesota Somalian communities. After all, the Somalian population in Minnesota has expanded tremendously since Pawlenty first came on the scene in 2003 - to the point where one third of all Somalian immigrants now live in Minnesota. Shouldn't we in Minnesota also expect heightened security, Mr. King?

    March 10, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. once upon a horse

    King's claim that American Muslims are doing very little to help discourage radical Islam in our nation sort of reminds of the Republican party doing very little to discourage the "birthers" in their party. So perhaps along those lines he might be on to something here.

    March 10, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. Tsah from Virginia

    The RIGHT said NO for the past two years!!! NOW, they want to PREPARE for the next TWO and they are OVER-REACHING!!!! The American people are not going to stand for too much – especially when you interfere with our RIGHTS!!!!

    What is the RIGHT gaining from what they are doing??? The states RUN by RepubliCAN'Ts are going WILD and they are forgetting that they DO NOT represent the entire state – half of the people DID NOT vote for them!!!

    March 10, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. The reality is...

    I don't know what's to comment about on this article but in regard to Obama and his code: "The bipartisan legislation would require schools and districts receiving designated federal funds to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment. The act would ensure that schools and districts implement effective prevention programs, and would require states to report data on bullying and harassment to the Department of Education" how do you like that? Now it will take more money (from taxpayer pockets) to enforce the golden rule. BTW, the golden rule comes from the bible so how will liberals and atheists reconcile with that?

    March 10, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Ken in MD

    Another CNN article states that King did not include Eric Holder because he "knew that Holder would dispute what King says he hears privately from law enforcement officials – that Muslim-Americans aren’t sufficiently cooperating in anti-radicalization efforts." Typical politician. Don't ask for the testimony of someone who disagrees with you. You may not get your way. Never let facts get in the way of a perfectly good opinion (or fear tactic).

    March 10, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |