New York Rep. Peter King (R.) reflected on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while attending the 16th anniversary event at the Ground Zero memorial, saying Monday that the war against terrorism continues and "we can't let our guard down."
Fox News anchor Shannon Bream asked the congressman to reflect on 9/11 and "where we go from here, moving forward."
"It's a day that none of us ever should forget." King said. "It was a horrible day. I lost many friends and neighbor that day, as so many New Yorkers and all Americans did. It's important that we honor the memories of those who died and stay in contact with their families."
"Just as importantly, we have to remember this war goes on," he continued. "We can never let our guard down. We are as much at war with Islamist terrorism now as we were on 9/11. We are much safer but the threat is greater. They are constantly attempting to find ways to attack us. We cannot let our guard down."
Bream then brought up the five remaining 9/11 suspects who remain at the Guantanamo Bay military prison. Their trial date keeps sliding back and is now expected to be in 2019. She asked King if the U.S. is taking the right course of action with them.
King said he thinks there have been too many delays and added that the U.S. is not going to be intimidated by political correctness when combating Islamist terrorism.
"Well, I think first of all it's important they be detained and important we have the trials; they have to be brought to justice," King said. "I think it's gone on for much too long. I think there's been too many delays; too many people seem more interested in what they perceive to be civil liberties and civil rights of those who killed innocent Americans. But we are going to persevere. Those trials will go ahead and we owe it to those who died, we owe it to their families, and we also have to send a signal to the world that we're not going to be intimidated by political correctness and we're not going to be intimidated by Islamist terrorism."
King also noted how the terrorist threat has morphed from al Qaeda in Afghanistan to a "worldwide movement," including groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram in Nigeria.
"Having said that, they are on the run. We have to keep them on defense; we can't be apologizing; we cant be backing away," he added.
King said he did not want to be partisan on a day of reflecting, adding that the U.S. should not be "apologetic" and "kill them before they kill us," referring to the threat of terrorism.
"I'm not trying to say this in a partisan way, but I think that under the Obama administration too often, we sort of backed away," King said. "In some ways very aggressive but others apologetic. We can't be."
King concluded the point by discussing the importance of surveillance from local and federal law enforcement.
"We have to stay on offense all the time. We have to kill them before they kill us, and we have to realize there is a threat in the United States," he said. "It is important that organizations like the NYPD, FBI, and other police organizations do monitoring and surveillance because there is an enemy that lives among us and we can't allow them to get the upper hand."