© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
Obama Administration Releases Vague 'Strategy' on Extremism: Says Fed Not Good at Stopping Violent Attacks

Obama Administration Releases Vague 'Strategy' on Extremism: Says Fed Not Good at Stopping Violent Attacks

It does not focus on threats from Muslim extremists.

WASHINGTON (The Blaze/AP) -- Local communities, not Washington, are best suited to counter violent extremism, according to a new national strategy the Obama administration took more than a year to produce. The strategy pointedly does not focus on threats from Muslim extremism.

When it comes to stopping violent attacks that kill innocent people, the federal government is not in a good position to step in where radical ideas evolve into violence, according to an unclassified draft of the strategy obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its official release, expected Wednesday.

"Communities are best placed to recognize and confront the threat because violent extremists are targeting their children, families and neighbors," the strategy said.

The unclassified draft includes broad statements about protecting civil rights, American values and the importance of partnerships with local stakeholders and the private sector. The federal government's job is to act in a support role, it said, bringing people together and sharing information about threats and concerns and "community-based solutions." The focus cannot be on a single ideology.

"Any solution that myopically focuses on a single, current form of violent extremism, while blind to other threats, will fail to secure our country and communities," the document said.

The strategy does not include specifics for achieving these goals.

Instead it points to federal outreach programs by the Homeland Security and Justice departments and FBI that have been initiated in the years since the 2001 terror attacks. It also refers to the nation's approach to countering criminal gangs as a model to embrace for countering violent extremism, involving police, schools, probation officers, youth agencies, government and local grassroots organizations.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The psychological aspects of radicalization have been studied for years, and while there are some similarities among terrorism cases, there is not a single profile of a violent extremist in the U.S. Complicating the challenge is that the threat is often rooted in an ideology protected by the Constitution.

The Bush administration also sought ways to counter violent ideologies, but the problem became more pressing for President Barack Obama, as there have been more attempted attacks and plots against the U.S. during his time in office.

Americans are now a targeted audience for recruitment to the cause and not just a target for attack. English-speaking radical Islamic clerics appeal to Westerners on the Internet and recruit Americans to join their holy war. The need to travel to terror camps in far-away places has diminished now that there are instructions for how to carry out an attack that are easily available online.

"While there is no shortage of ideas about the causes and implications of radicalization in the public conversation, what is generally lacking are proposals for specific action the government or American citizens can take to combat radicalization," Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., said during a congressional hearing last week on ways to address and combat the threat.

One of Myrick's former constituents is a young man, Samir Khan, who is now believed to be in Yemen, working with al-Qaida and recruiting Westerners to the cause.

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?