November 13, 2012 in Government Accountability Office
The majority of state and local participant feedback on training that DHS or DOJ provided or funded and that GAO identified as CVE-related was positive or neutral, but a minority of participants raised concerns about biased, inaccurate, or offensive material. DHS and DOJ collected feedback from 8,424 state and local participants in CVE-related training during fiscal years 2010 and 2011, and 77—less than 1 percent—provided comments that expressed such concerns. According to DHS and DOJ officials, agencies used the feedback to make changes where appropriate. DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other components generally solicit feedback for more formal, curriculum-based training, but the FBI does not require this for activities such as presentations by guest speakers because the FBI does not consider this to be training. Similarly, DOJ’s United States Attorneys’ Offices (USAO) do not require feedback on presentations and similar efforts. Nevertheless, FBI field offices and USAOs covered about 39 percent (approximately 9,900) of all participants in DOJ CVE-related training during fiscal years 2010 and 2011 through these less formal methods, yet only 4 of 21 FBI field offices and 15 of 39 USAOs chose to solicit feedback on such methods. GAO has previously reported that agencies need to develop systematic evaluation processes in order to obtain accurate information about the benefits of their training. Soliciting feedback for less formal efforts on a more consistent basis could help these agencies ensure their quality.
February 6, 2012 in Featured
Internet service providers should clamp down on websites used by violent extremists, both Islamists and increasingly the far right, British lawmakers said in a report Monday. The Internet is a more significant vehicle for promoting radicalism than prisons, universities or places of worship, and is involved in almost all cases of extremism, parliament’s home affairs committee said. Law enforcement agencies can already order illegal material to be removed from the Internet, but “service providers themselves should be more active in monitoring the material they host,” the report said. The MPs recommended that the government work with Internet service providers (ISPs) to develop a code of practice on removing extremist material, but acknowledged international co-operation would also be needed.
August 3, 2011 in White House
Throughout history, violent extremists—individuals who support or commit ideologically-motivated violence to further political goals—have promoted messages of divisiveness and justified the killing of innocents. The United States Constitution recognizes freedom of expression, even for individuals who espouse unpopular or even hateful views. But when individuals or groups choose to further their grievances or ideologies through violence, by engaging in violence themselves or by recruiting and encouraging others to do so, it becomes the collective responsibility of the U.S. Government and the American people to take a stand. In recent history, our country has faced plots by neo-Nazis and other anti-Semitic hate groups, racial supremacists, and international and domestic terrorist groups; and since the September 11 attacks, we have faced an expanded range of plots and attacks in the United States inspired or directed by al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents as well as other violent extremists. Supporters of these groups and their associated ideologies come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnic and religious communities, and areas of the country, making it difficult to predict where violent extremist narratives will resonate. And as history has shown, the prevalence of particular violent extremist ideologies changes over time, and new threats will undoubtedly arise in the future.
July 12, 2011 in United Kingdom
The leadership of Al Qa’ida is now weaker than at any time since 9/11. It has played no role in recent political change in North Africa and the Middle East. Its ideology has been widely discredited and it has failed in all its objectives. Continued international pressure can further reduce its capability. But Al Qa’ida continues to pose a threat to our own security; and groups affiliated to Al Qa’ida – notably in Yemen and Somalia – have emerged over the past two years to be a substantial threat in their own right.
September 17, 2010 in News
The U.S. government must shift its terrorism focus and resources away from Pennsylvania Avenue and onto Main Street, several national security experts told Congress on Wednesday. They had a special message for the American public: Buck up. Overreacting to failed plots and near misses, they warned, only encourages terrorists. Nine years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the experts told a House committee Wednesday, the federal government’s effort to predict, prevent and respond to terror plots must focus more on local law enforcement, public safety personnel and hometown residents.
September 11, 2010 in News
The U.S. was slow to take seriously the threat posed by homegrown radicals and the government has failed to put systems in place to deal with the growing phenomenon, according to a new report compiled by the former heads of the Sept. 11 Commission. The report says U.S. authorities failed to realize that Somali-American youths traveling from Minnesota to Mogadishu in 2008 to join extremists was not an isolated issue. Instead, the movement was one among several instances of a broader, more diverse threat that has surfaced across the country. “Our long-held belief that homegrown terrorism couldn’t happen here has thus created a situation where we are today stumbling blindly through the legal, operational and organizational minefield of countering terrorist radicalization and recruitment occurring in the United States,” said the report.
September 11, 2010 in United States
Al-Qaeda and allied groups continue to pose a threat to the United States. Although it is less severe than the catastrophic proportions of a 9/11-like attack, the threat today is more complex and more diverse than at any time over the past nine years. Al-Qaeda or its allies continue to have the capacity to kill dozens, or even hundreds, of Americans in a single attack. A key shift in the past couple of years is the increasingly prominent role in planning and operations that U.S. citizens and residents have played in the leadership of al-Qaeda and aligned groups, and the higher numbers of Americans attaching themselves to these groups. Another development is the increasing diversification of the types of U.S.-based jihadist militants, and the groups with which those militants have affiliated. Indeed, these jihadists do not fit any particular ethnic, economic, educational, or social profile.
August 29, 2010 in Department of Justice
(U//LES) DoJ “Paths to Radicalization” Briefing, June 2010.