By Bill Hoffmann
WASHINGTON D.C. – The deadly bombings in Russia over the past two days should be a wake-up call to “how evil Islamic terrorists can be,” and are deeply troubling for the impending Winter Olympics, U.S. Rep. Peter King says.
“This shows again how dangerous Islamic terrorists are . . . It was a brutal attack, and it shows just how devastating they can be,” King, R-N.Y., told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
“With all the security that Russia has . . . if they could attack there, you can imagine what they can do here. This really should be a wake-up call to all of us about how deadly, how diabolical, and how evil Islamic terrorists can be and are,” he said Monday.
King, chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterintelligence and Terrorism, said Olympic officials must be vigilant in providing security.
“I don’t want to be scaring people, but anytime you have active terrorists, you have to be concerned,” he said.
“Even with all that security [the Russians are] capable of . . . it’s very difficult to stop these attacks unless you are constantly, constantly monitoring.”
On Monday, a suicide bomb killed at least 14 people in the southern Russian city of Volgograd, just a day after an explosion at Volgograd’s main train station killed 17 people and wounded at least 35.
Russian authorities have declared both bombings terrorist attacks.
King says the attacks should be a reminder to those who think “al-Qaida is dead or al-Qaida and its affiliates don’t have the power they once had.”
“They are very lethal, and in many ways more dangerous than they were before Sept. 11th.”
King criticized a New York Times report that contends local militias and not al-Qaida were responsible for the attack that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya, earlier this year.
“This story is totally misleading, untrue. First of all, the headline saying al-Qaida was not involved — Ansar al-Sharia [one of the local groups] is affiliated with al-Qaida,” he said.
“Al-Qaida realizes how strong we have become. We had weakened them. So, they’ve metastasized, they’ve morphed, and the real threat comes from these affiliated groups.”
“To say that that is not al-Qaida . . . then all of our people are in trouble, because they’re the groups we should be looking at.”
He says the story was concocted to help Democrats in the 2016 presidential race, particularly Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state who has been under fire for her handling of the Benghazi attack.
“[They want to take the] issue away from Republicans no matter who the Democratic nominee is. Whether or not it’s Hillary Clinton, they want this issue taken away, and it’s part of a systematic effort here,” he said.
“This story is meaningless and baseless, and by putting that headline on it — I’m disappointed in how much the media went along with it, by the way.”