In wake of Boston bombings Peter King calls for Muslim surveillance - says FBI went after Irish in hunt for Westies gang

Congressman Peter King

In the wake of the Boston bombings, Rep. Peter King has once again called for monitoring of Muslim American community.

The Long Island Republican Congressman’s comments came as it emerged that at least one of the Boston Marathon bombings suspects, who is of Chechen origin, had ties to radical Islam.

The Republican leader has said that the vast majority of American Muslims are good people but argued that the monitoring of certain communities is nothing new.

"When the FBI was after the Westies they went to the Irish community," he said on Fox News last weekend.

"When they went after the Mafia they went to the Italian community. If you know a threat is coming from a certain community, that's where you have to look."

However, TJ English, author of 'The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob’ disagrees with King’s analogy.

"It's a misinformed statement on so many levels,"  he told WNYC.

"Law enforcement efforts to take down organized crime, whether it was Italian or Irish, never involved going after an entire community. It always involved dealing with the criminal element within a community as a very specific aspect of the community."

Rep. Keith Ellison also strongly disagreed with King’s proposal.

Speaking on MSNBC, Ellison, who was introduced on the show as “the first Muslim elected to Congress” said the focus needs to be on criminals.

“It is just ridiculous, I mean to say that because of the Westies, that every Irish person was under suspect, everyone in America knows that’s ridiculous,” he said.

“But still he wants to cast a wide net with regard to Muslims.”

King sparked controversy by hosting Congressional hearings on Muslim “radicalization”in 2011.