Despite crediting the Pakistani Taliban with fostering the recent failed car bombing in Times Square, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was reluctant Thursday to say radical Islam was part of the cause of that and other recent attacks.
Mr. Holder, testifying to the House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly balked at a half-dozen questions from Rep. Lamar Smith, the ranking Republican on the committee, about whether "radical Islam" was behind the attempted car bombing, last year's so-called "underpants bomber" or the killings at Fort Hood in Texas.
"There are a variety of reasons why people do these things. Some of them are potentially religious," Mr. Holder told the committee Thursday, though he would not go further than saying people who hold radical views may have "had an ability to have an impact" on Faisal Shahzad, the man the Justice Department says tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who has been critical of Arizona's new immigration law, said Thursday he hasn't yet read the law and is going by what he's read in newspapers or seen on television.
Mr. Holder is conducting a review of the law, at President Obama's request, to see if the federal government should challenge it in court. He said he expects he will read the law by the time his staff briefs him on their conclusions.
"I've just expressed concerns on the basis of what I've heard about the law. But I'm not in a position to say at this point, not having read the law, not having had the chance to interact with people are doing the review, exactly what my position is," Mr. Holder told the House Judiciary Committee.
This weekend Mr. Holder told NBC's "Meet the Press" program that the Arizona law "has the possibility of leading to racial profiling." He had earlier called the law's passage "unfortunate," and questioned whether the law was unconstitutional because it tried to assume powers that may be reserved for the federal government.
Rep. Ted Poe, who had questioned Mr. Holder about the law, wondered how he could have those opinions if he hadn't yet read the legislation.
Thats what a lot of us would like to know.