Witnesses at a high-profile congressional hearing on Islamic radicalization said Thursday that America is "failing" to confront the threat posed by homegrown extremism, as lawmakers for hours traded accusations over whether the inquiry unfairly singled out Muslims.

The hearing, one of the most controversial in recent memory, featured congressmen, a California sheriff, a Muslim scholar and witnesses whose relatives had been recruited by radicals. The afternoon was punctuated by a series of tense moments -- one lawmaker challenged the credibility of the panel, several suggested the committee's time could be better spent looking at groups ranging from the KKK to criminal gangs, and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called a press conference afterward in which he accused the hearing's critics of spreading "mindless hysteria."

King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also vowed to press ahead with more hearings, telling reporters late Thursday that the next panel would probably focus on Islamic radicalization in the U.S. prison system.

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