DOJ announces new counter-Violent Extremism programs – cue MPAC

It’s probably not a coincidence that the DOJ announcement comes within a week of MPAC’s new campaign push for Safe Spaces and the American Muslims United Against Violent Extremism: Press Conference

Attorney General Eric Holder (AP File Photo)

In a video message posted on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) website, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DOJ is joining with the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center to ” launch a new series of pilot programs in cities across the nation to help counter violent extremism.”   According to Holder, ” These programs will bring together community representatives, public safety officials, religious leaders, and United States Attorneys to improve local engagement; to counter violent extremism; and — ultimately — to build a broad network of community partnerships to keep our nation safe.”

A complete text of the message can be read HERE

Susan Jones of CNSNews.com reported:

Holder said the administration “will work closely with community representatives to develop comprehensive local strategies, to raise awareness about important issues, to share information on best practices, and to expand and improve training in every area of the country.”

He noted that since 2012, U.S. attorneys have held or attended more than 1,700 “engagement-related events or meetings to enhance trust and facilitate communication in their neighborhoods and districts.” The new pilot programs will build on that work, he said.

Holder also announced that the White House plans to host a “Countering Violent Extremism” summit in October.

Holder did not mention Islam or Muslims, and he used the phrase “violent extremism” to describe the “urgent” threat that the nation faces.

Josh Gerstein wrote on Politico.com:

The U.S. Government’s current efforts to stem terrorist recruitment and so-called “lone wolf” attacks by people receptive to extremist rhetoric have been criticized for being unfocused and underfunded. In addition, many experts have questioned whether U.S. Attorneys—the top federal prosecutors in various communities—are best-suited to lead the government’s anti-extremism campaign.

Many leaders in the Muslim community are reluctant to work with prosecutors because of deep concern over Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operations used to target potential terrorists. However, efforts in the U.S. to use means other than traditional law enforcement to intervene with individuals susceptible to extremist messages have been few, due to concerns about civil liberties as well as fears about what could happen if that kind of intervention failed in a specific case.

Holder’s statement Monday seemed to acknowledge some of those concerns. While the outreach efforts are expected to focus primarily on communities with large Muslim populations, his video message made no reference to the religion aside from his use of the acronym for the terrorist group which has grabbed attention for its brutal tactics assembling territory across Syria and Iraq.

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  Expect to see many of the names we mentioned in MPAC’s Safe Spaces: the Trojan Horse Continues to be involved with these new programs.  It’s probably not a coincidence that the DOJ announcement comes within a week of  MPAC’s renewed campaign push for Safe Spaces and the ADAMS sponsored American Muslims United Against Violent Extremism: Press Conference.   MPAC and the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) have been tied to elements of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

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