The White House wants to use U.S. Attorneys to coordinate outreach to immigrant groups that produce Muslim terrorists, according to a new policy.
The White House-appointed U.S. Attorneys will work with Muslim groups to avert terror attacks, which the new policy dubs “violent extremism,” and will give them access to law enforcement information, aid Muslim bloggers and re-train law enforcement departments around the country.
“To better synchronize this work, U.S. Attorneys, who historically have engaged with communities in their districts, have begun leading Federal engagement efforts,” said the policy, titled “Strategic Implementation Plan For Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States,” released Dec. 8.
Federal officials, including at least 30 of the 93 U.S Attorneys, have already held more than 150 meeting with communities, withdrawn unwanted training materials and translated anti-radicalization information into languages used by Muslim immigrants, including Arabic, Somali, Urdu and Farsi.
Officials are also revamping training materials used by law enforcement officials. Officials “have gone through a review process, developed and tested and piloted training related to both countering violent extremism as well as broader counterterrorism training to ensure that it’s accurate and meets those objectives,” a White House official said Thursday.
However, the policy offers few details about the plan, does not name the Muslim groups that are to be included in the outreach efforts, and does not name the individuals or groups that are slated to re-train law enforcement officials about “violent extremism.”
Also, the new report does not mention Islam, whose texts are often used to provide the impetus and rationales for that spur terror strikes by Muslims.
That policy, however, isn’t always applied.
Quintan Wiktorowicz, the official who leads the development of the new policy for the White House, told NPR on Dec. 7 that “here are potential behavioral signals… has someone in the community seen them watching violent extremist videos? Are they publicly coming out in defense of Osama bin Laden? Are they talking about the kuffar [Arabic for non-Muslim]? That’s not enough alone, but if that is in a combination of other things, that’s what we are looking for.”
But the top-level refusal to identify Islam as a cause of terror attacks cripples counter-terrorism efforts because it deters lower-level law enforcement officials from understanding jihadis’ motivations and purposes, say critics, including Robert Spencer, who runs the jihadwatch website.
For example, Army officials routinely ignored vitriolic Islamic arguments made by the Muslim Army officer who killed 13 soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood.
The enemy, according to White House, are not jihadis or radical Islamists, but “violent extremists” who are members of al-Qaida.
Al-Qaida’s affiliates, presumably, include the Somali-based Al Shabab organization, which has used U.S.-based clerics to recruit up to 30 Muslim immigrants living in Minnesota. At least one of the recruits volunteered to be a suicide bomber in Somalia.
The report instead compares jihadi attacks, such as the Fort Hood massacre by a self-described “Soldier of Allah,” to domestic violence, “school shooters” and workplace violence, such as shootings by post office workers.
Critics say this silence about Islam is rationalized by progressives’ diversity ideology, and by their desire to build political alliances with immigrant Muslim groups in Illinois, Michigan, New York and other states.
The policy says mistakes by the U.S. government can spur terror attacks. “The Administration recognizes the potential to do more harm than good if our Nation’s approach and actions are not dutifully considered and deliberated,” said the policy.