September 23rd, 2013

Rep. King on Kenya mall attack: Can’t send troops; can provide intelligence, weapons, training

Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, appeared on “New Day” to talk latest in the ongoing attack by Al-Shabaab militants on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya and opened up about soft target concerns, radicalized Americans and American military support. Rep. King said that this attack was “the most sophisticated attack of this type since Mumbai.”

On homegrown terrorists, Rep. King said, “Chris, there’s been about 40 or 50 young Americans who have left St. Paul and Minneapolis to go to Somalia to be trained. In some cases, there was evidence that there were people in the mosques who knew about this. There was actually a facilitation process. Of that 40 to 50 who’ve gone over to be trained, we think at least 15 of them have been killed in fighting over in Somalia. The concern, as we said before, is that any of these would come back into the United States who would be in contact with operatives here in the United States, the FBI has been concerned about this. I’m assuming that they are right now really on top of this situation in St. Paul and Minneapolis to see if there’s any phone calls that have been made, any type of contact, any type of travel back and forth that’s been suspicious over the last several months. These are trained terrorists. These are Americans who went to Somalia to be trained as terrorists by Al-Shabaab.”

When Anchor Chris Cuomo if this attack will require military action, Rep. King replied, “I think it requires intelligence support. It requires training…. For instance, you have Al-Shabaab is also trained with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen. It’s had involvement with Boko Haram in Nigeria. And obviously we can’t be sending troops to all these places, but I think we can provide some support on the ground. Certainly, give them intelligence, give them weapons, if that’s important. Also, training. Training the local police. Training the local armies. Finding the elements within those societies we can work with.”

“New Day” airs weekday mornings from 6-9 a.m. ET on CNN.