Ahead of Controversial Hearing, NY Rep. Defends Support of IRA

New York Congressman Peter King, who will hold hearings this week on Islamic radicalism, is defending his support in the '80s and '90s of the Irish Republican Army.

The Long Island Republican said the IRA and al-Qaida are very different because 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 that he supported only the group's political wing, and was right to advocate that the IRA be brought into peace negotiations to stop the violence.

King will preside over a congressional hearing on Thursday that has sparked protests - including a rally in New York this past Sunday - on the grounds that it unfairly targets Muslims. King said he believes the Muslim community isn't doing enough to renounce al-Qaida and work with law enforcement.

With the Associated Press