Peter King: Sydney Attack Part of ‘Changing Face of Terrorism’
By Wanda Carruthers
The attack in Sydney in which a gunman held numerous hostages in a 16-hour ordeal was an example of the “changing face of terrorism,” Rep. Peter King told Fox News on “America’s Newsroom.”
Man Haron Monis, the Iranian refugee identified in the attack, held an unknown number of people hostage in Lindt Chocolat Cafe in a standoff that began early Monday. The crisis ended after heavily armed police swarmed the cafe early Tuesday morning, local time.
“What we saw today, though, is the changing face of terrorism and the new threat from terrorism, and that it does not necessarily have to come from a card-carrying member or an official member of ISIS or any of the other al-Qaida-type organizations,” the New York Republican said Monday.
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King, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, said the type of person to commit a terrorism act like the one in Sydney could be a “sympathizer” or a “fanatic” of a terrorist organization, or merely someone “on the edge and have these Islamic leanings.”
“We’ve seen that in Canada. We’ve seen that in New York, where the deranged person with an ax attacked a police officer in Queens. But they were inspired by what they hear from ISIS,” he said.
The technique was new, King said, and it posed a “real challenge to police and law enforcement, because it has to be intense scrutiny, intense surveillance, and looking for any possible indicators of someone who could act like this.”
He said law enforcement could come under attack from groups critical of targeted surveillance.
“We have to be very careful. You have groups like the (American) Civil Liberties Union or The New York Times attacking the police for what they feel is too much activity,” he said.
Nevertheless, King maintained it was critical to have intelligence from communities to “try to stop it before it happens.”
“The fact is the threat is real, and we have to have sources in those communities. We have to monitor the communities,” King said. “If it does happen, then you have to make sure your police are extremely well-trained and can adapt to any possible hostage situation, every possible situation like this.”