Rand Paul Holds Conference on Terrorism

Posted: Jun 03, 2011 10:41 AM

Guest Post by Nick Freiling

Sen. Rand Paul is about to hold a news conference to discuss the threat of terrorism (two residents of his hometown of Bowling Green were recently arrested on charges of plotting to aid anti-American insurgents in Iraq). His recent comments on Hannity, which caused some confusion among his supporters as they seemed to counter his pro-privacy views, may also be a cause for the holding of a conference.

Sen. Paul has consistently advocated for protecting American citizens against government investigation, and just last week stood up to Harry Reid's attempt to pass the PATRIOT Act without considering Paul's amendments intended to protect the privacy of gun-owners. But considering the recent arrests in his hometown came as a result of covert FBI investigation, his remarks today should be interesting.

Conservatives are split over support for the PATRIOT Act, as concerns over both privacy and the threat of terrorism have proven equally evocative.

UPDATE: from Courier-Journal

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said he will ask the Senate Committee on Homeland Security to hold a hearing on how two Iraqis accused of terrorism offenses in Bowling Green got into the U.S.

In a news conference in his hometown, Paul also said he will send a letter to the State Department asking it to investigate why one of the defendants was admitted after he had previously had been imprisoned in Iraq.

“Someone was asleep at the switch,” Paul said.

The Iraqis, Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, were charged in an indictment unsealed this week with conspiring to send Stinger missiles, cash, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers from the United States to al Qaeda and other jihadists in Iraq.

Paul commended the FBI for its investigation but questioned why other government agencies would grant asylum to Iraqis, given that Iraq is supposed to by an ally of the United States.

He also said the admission of the two men into America shows that the government needs to spend more time on background checks and less time searching “6-year-olds and 75-year-old Americans at airports.”