White House to host summit on extremism

The White House on Tuesday will begin hosting a three-day summit to examine ways to counter violent extremism.

The meeting will put a special emphasis on domestic and international efforts to prevent extremists and their backers from radicalizing young people.

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The conference, which has been in the works for months, comes just days after fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) executed 21 Egyptians and terrorist attacks in Copenhagen left two people dead.

President Obama is slated to address the summit, which will include representatives from more than 60 countries, during events at the White House and at the State Department.

The White House has not released a list of the participating countries.

Obama will speak at a gathering at the White House on Wednesday that will look at how U.S. cities are handling the threat of extremism and other issues. He will deliver remarks at the State Department on Thursday.

Vice President Biden will kick off the summit on Tuesday by meeting with officials from Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, which have set up pilot programs designed to counter extremism in their communities.

On Monday, a White House official said the administration wants to “push them forward” as examples for the rest of the country.

The three-day summit also comes on the heels of Obama formally asking Congress for authorization to battle ISIS, though the administration maintains the group won’t be the sole focus this week.

“We remain particularly concerned about the possibility of groups like [ISIS] recruiting Americans to fight, but at the same time, the message at the White House and the agenda itself is not entirely focused on [ISIS],” an official said, adding that “we also recognize that in the United States there have been violent extremists that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.”

“The agenda for all three days is going to show a wide array of speakers and participants from all backgrounds who combat radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism in its many forms,” the official said.