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Countering Violent Extremism

Violent extremist threats come from a range of groups and individuals, including domestic terrorists and homegrown violent extremists in the United States, as well as international terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIL. Lone offenders or small groups may be radicalized to commit violence at home or attempt to travel overseas to become foreign fighters. The use of the Internet and social media to recruit and radicalize individuals to violence means that conventional approaches are unlikely to identify and disrupt all terrorist plots.

Here in the United States, acts perpetrated by violent extremists can have far-reaching consequences. Countering violent extremism (CVE) has therefore become a key focus of DHS’s work to secure the homeland. CVE aims to address the root causes of violent extremism by providing resources to communities to build and sustain local prevention efforts and promote the use of counter-narratives to confront violent extremist messaging online.  Building relationships based on trust with communities is essential to this effort.

CVE Grant Information

The Department of Homeland Security issued a notice of funding opportunity on July 6, 2016 announcing the new Countering Violent Extremism Grant Program, the first federal grant funding available to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and institutions of higher education to carry out countering violent extremism programs.

These new grants will provide state, local and tribal partners and community groups—religious groups, mental health and social service providers, educators and other NGOs—with the ability to build prevention programs that address the root causes of violent extremism and deter individuals who may already be radicalizing to violence.

Office for Community Partnerships

On September 28, 2015, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced the creation of the Office for Community Partnerships (OCP) to streamline and head the Department’s efforts to counter violent extremism domestically. OCP is the primary source of leadership, innovation, and support for the improved effectiveness of partners at federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels. The Office also leverages the resources and relationships of the Department of Homeland Security and applies the personal leadership of the Secretary to empower leaders in both the public and private sectors to spur societal change to counter violent extremism.

CVE Lines of Effort

OCP implements a full-range of partnerships to support and enhance efforts by faith leaders, local government officials, and communities to prevent radicalization and recruitment by terrorist organizations.  OCP also provides these stakeholders with training and technical assistance to develop CVE prevention programs in support of resilient communities. OCP leads the Department’s CVE mission with the following objectives:

  • Community Engagement. OCP works with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to facilitate community engagements to build awareness and promote dialogue with community partners, which includes engagements with DHS senior leadership;
  • Field Support Expansion and Training. OCP supports DHS field staff across the country to develop and strengthen local partnerships and to provide training opportunities; 
  • Grant Support. OCP is working closely with FEMA to issue a notice of funding opportunity for community-based programs this summer. More information will be available on this website.
  • Philanthropic Engagement. OCP works with the philanthropic community to maximize support for local communities, and encourage long-term partnerships;
  • Tech Sector Engagement. OCP engages the tech sector to identify and amplify credible voices online and promote counter-narratives against violent extremist messaging.

CVE Resources

OCP maintains a list of current resources about violent extremism as well as examples of effective tools and programs to build strong and safe communities.  This information will be updated as it is published and produced. 

Contact the Office for Community Partnerships

Please direct all CVE inquiries to

Last Published Date: January 19, 2017

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