As the U.S. government faces downsizing in both its terrorism prevention staff and congressional funding, a quiet shift has begun at the local level. The future of CVE programs will be determined by state-level and city initiatives.
There is an ongoing debate within policy circles on when and where countering violent extremism programs began in the U.S. There is, however, little debate on whether the strategy has been implemented effectively. By every objective measure, it has not.
There was some good news—as well as some troubling details— in the Sept. 17 hearing on "Worldwide Threats to the Homeland."
Threats new and old, at home and from abroad.
Nearly a decade ago, five young men from the Washington, D.C., suburbs disappeared. Confusion about their whereabouts caused a panic within the national security community, which was only made worse by their reappearance a few days later when they were arrested in Pakistan for allegedly attempting to join Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charity wing of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani terrorist organization.
Editor’s Note: Programs to counter violent extremism seemed under siege in the early days of the Trump administration, with officials questioning their focus and very purpose. Seamus Hughes and Haroro J. Ingram, of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, argue that far less has changed than most people recognize. Despite a lot of rhetoric, U.S. government CVE programs have a similar orientation as they did under Obama but remain underfunded and inadequate.
On Jan. 9, the People’s Defense Units (YPG) announced the capture of eight individuals, ostensibly foreign fighters for the Islamic State, in a series of operations conducted by the group near the town of Deir-ez-Zor in eastern Syria. Reportedly among the captured are fighters from seven different countries.