WASHINGTON — Peter King, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, denied Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison’s request to testify before at a committee hearing on Islamic radicalization scheduled for Wednesday.
Ellison, a Democrat who is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, sent King a letter Monday asking if he could testify at a hearing on the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization operating in Somalia. The hearing is the third in a series of controversial meetings on the matter of radical Islam in America.
King responded that Wednesday’s hearing is an extension of the first couple the committee has held, and since Ellison testified at the first hearing on the issue, in March, he would not be permitted to testify Wednesday.
“I look forward to working with you as we continue our urgent efforts to address growing threats of Islamic radicalization across the nation,” King wrote in a letter to Ellison. King encouraged him to submit written testimony for the congressional record, which Ellison spokeswoman Jennifer Gore said he “absolutely” will do.
Minneapolis has the largest Somali community in the United States. A Minneapolis man pleaded guilty this month to helping Al-Shabaab recruit men to travel to Somalia and fight in various conflicts in the country.
Two Minnesotans are scheduled testify at Wednesday’s hearing: William Anders Folk, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, and St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith.
Devin Henry can be reached at email@example.com.