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Terror Hearing Starts Amid Heightened Security

Extra security will accompany a New York congressman as he chairs a hearing focused on the U.S. Muslim community and its willingness to help prevent radical Islamic terrorism.

Rep. Peter King told The Associated Press that he has had a larger security details for the past few months because of an overseas threat relayed in December. Since then, round-the-clock security has been provided by the New York Police Department and the Nassau County, N.Y., police.

On Thursday, however, at King's request, the Capitol Police will be securing the congressional hearing room and surrounding areas, as well as his office, as the House Homeland Security Committee takes testimony.

Rarely does a congressional hearing attract as much advance controversy. In protests ahead of the session, critics have condemned the hearing as anti-Muslim and have likened it to the McCarthy-era hearings investigating communism.

"I am well aware that the announcement of these hearings has generated considerable controversy and opposition," King says in prepared opening remarks obtained by the AP. "Congressional investigation of Muslim American radicalization is the logical response to the repeated and urgent warnings which the Obama administration has been making in recent months."

In protests ahead of the session, critics have condemned the hearing as anti-Muslim and have likened it to the McCarthy-era hearings investigating communism.

This program aired on March 10, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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