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Updating Our Plan to Counter Violent Extremism at Home

George Selim
Director, Office for Community Partnerships

Today, the Administration issued new strategic guidance on federal efforts to counter violent extremism at home. This plan incorporates the many lessons we have learned over the years from working hand-in-hand with local communities and lays the groundwork for the years to come. The Strategic Implementation Plan to Empower Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States (PDF, 18 pages, 322 KB) will help ensure our Nation remains vigilant in preventing terrorists from recruiting and radicalizing Americans to violence.

Over the past several years, we have seen the threat of violent extremism evolve and with it, so has our response. We have seen ISIL attempt to inspire violence from afar through the Internet and social media. Meanwhile, events in Charleston and Baton Rouge show that violent extremism is not restricted to a single ideology.

In January 2016, we stood up the Countering Violent Extremism Task Force, to harmonize our domestic efforts, and ensure we continue to integrate public health, education, and other disciplines into our approach. In July of this year, the DHS Office for Community Partnerships announced the first grants for CVE programming, and we received more than 200 applications from 42 states and territories requesting more than $100 million.

As we partner with local communities, we are also continuing productive dialogues with tech companies about how to address terrorist activities online. Companies are taking more proactive actions against terrorist actors, including by suspending accounts associated with terrorism and enacting “zero tolerance” policies for terrorist activities on their platforms.

After years of doing this work, we are more confident than ever that through partnership, we can and will overcome this threat while upholding the values and liberties that define us.

As outlined in our plan, we will focus on the following four areas.

  • Research and Analysis: All United States Government efforts to prevent violent extremism draw from rigorous, evidenced-based research and analysis. To date, unclassified, Federally-funded research has shed light on many topics; however, more specific research will allow us to further advance our programs.
  • Engagement and Technical Assistance: Building trust with a range of communities and stakeholders is essential, and has allowed us to tackle the shared concern of violent extremism together. Moving forward, we will focus on maintaining those relationships and finding new ways to support our local partners.
  • Interventions: As communities across the country continue to develop intervention approaches the Federal government will aim to support these efforts when requested and if appropriate.
  • Communications and Digital Strategy: We continue to take steps to address the various ways violent extremists use online platforms to promote violence. We are also committed to communicating with our stakeholders to ensure they understand the full range of Federal resources available to them.
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