Obama discusses efforts to combat extremism with Muslim leaders

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President Obama discussed efforts to counter extremism and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) during a meeting Wednesday with Muslim-American leaders at the White House.

The president stressed the need to continue countering ISIS "and other groups that commit horrific acts of violence, purportedly in the name of Islam," according to a statement from the White House.

He also encouraged the Muslim-American leaders "to remain civically engaged in their communities."

The administration has launched a series of pilot programs in cities with large Muslim populations in a bid to thwart homegrown extremists. The White House is particularly concerned about the possibility of radicalized individuals traveling to the Middle East for training with ISIS or similar terror groups, and then returning home to carry out attacks.

The meeting comes just one day after ISIS released a video depicting the brutal execution of a Jordanian pilot captured while flying a coalition mission against the terror group. The video has renewed calls from critics on Capitol Hill for the president to intensify efforts against the terror group.

Obama also used the closed-press meeting to discuss the task force he launched in the aftermath of grand jury decisions not to charge police officers involved in the deaths of unarmed suspects in Ferguson and Staten Island.

"The president reiterated his administration's commitment to safeguarding civil rights through hate crimes prosecutions and civil enforcement actions," the White House said.