On May 13, Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the House Judiciary committee and was asked by Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith if some individuals involved in acts of terrorism, including the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, “might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam.”
Holder refused to answer yes, although asked multiple times, saying only that the administration was endeavoring to understand what motivated Shahzad.
A partial transcript follows:
Rep. Smith: Are you uncomfortable attributing any of their [terrorists] actions to radical Islam? It sounds like it.
AG Holder: No, no I don’t want to say anything negative about a religion… that’s not consistent with the teachings of it.
Rep. Smith: “Could Radical Islam have motivated these individuals to take the steps that they did?”
AG Holder: “I certainly think that it’s possible that people who espouse a radical version of Islam have had an ability to have an impact on people like Mr. Shahzad.”
Rep. Smith: Ok, could it have been the case in one of these three [terrorism] instances… could one of these three individuals have been incited by radical Islam…”
AG Holder: Well, I think potentially incited by an Islam that is inconsistent with the teachings [of Islam]…
Rep. Smith: It’s hard Mr. AG, it’s hard to get an answer yes or no [from you]…