White House eyes steps to prevent radicalization

The White House is planning a February summit to highlight efforts to prevent violent extremists from “radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring” individuals or groups in the U.S.

ADVERTISEMENT
The efforts took on new importance “in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, and Paris,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement Sunday morning.

Earnest said efforts rely heavily on “well-informed and resilient local communities.”

He pointed to Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St. Paul, which “have taken the lead in building pilot frameworks integrating a range of social service providers, including education administrators, mental health professionals, and religious leaders, with law enforcement agencies to address violent extremism as part of the broader mandate of community safety and crime prevention.”

Earnest also said the summit will include representatives from partner nations who are “actively implementing programs to prevent violent extremism and foreign terrorist fighter recruitment.”

Officials say the summit, on February 18, will build on the first national strategy to prevent violent extremism domestically. That strategy was released in August, 2011.

The announcement comes ahead of a silent march in Paris to demonstrate the deaths of 17 people who were killed by Islamist extremists over three days. That march is expected to attract as many as one million people.