Sheriff Baca to testify at Homeland Security hearing on Muslim radicalization

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca talks about the Department of Homeland Security's Secure Communities program in Washington, DC.

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca will testify at tomorrow’s House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “radicalization” in the American Muslim community. The last time the sheriff was in town, he had a run-in with a committee member.

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca testified last spring that it was the responsibility of cops – and politicians – to visit mosques and meet with Muslims to get a better understanding of Islam. But during that testimony, Congressman Mark Souder questioned Baca’s support for Israel and the sheriff’s relationship with a group that the Indiana Republican accused of “radical speech.”

Souder said Baca had "been 10 times to the fundraisers for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which even the FBI has separated itself from." Baca snapped back, "And I’ll be there 10 more times."

Baca told the panel the security of Israel "has always been at the forefront of my thinking. And for you to associate me somehow through some circuitous attack on CAIR is not only inappropriate, it is un-American."

Baca will be back on Capitol Hill for the Homeland Security Committee hearing. Congressman Souder will not. He resigned last spring after admitting to an affair with a staffer.

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