WASHINGTON — A week after House Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly passed a bill that reauthorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s controversial “Countering Violent Extremism” training, the committee that crafted the bill is holding a hearing to ask how prepared DHS is.
The House Homeland Security Committee’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee is expected to have a hearing next Thursday asking how prepared DHS is to address terrorist threats.
CVE training, The Daily Caller previously reported in 2013, stresses personnel appease different cultural backgrounds. For example, under the section of being “sensitive to constitutional values,” it suggests, “Don’t use training that equates radical thought, religious expression, freedom to protest, or other constitutionally-protected activity, including disliking the U.S. government without being violent.”
In addition, the policy manual, which was created by an inter-agency working group from DHS and the National Counterterrorism Center, urges, “Trainers who equate the desire for Sharia law with criminal activity violate basic tenets of the First Amendment.”
When asked by The Daily Caller what the intent of including CVE training in the bill, a House homeland committee aide said it was to “expand the number of people familiar with the material and specifically these three things that they have been doing for the last few years now, because there’s a very small team at the department that’s really active with the CVE.”
The aide added that travel makes up a large portion of their budget. And the genesis for the idea came from the notion that “generic training material community awareness briefings—those types of things, if more people were trained on them they would have a wider reach.”
The FBI found itself in a similar situation in 2011, when Justice Department’s subject matter experts deemed its training manual and several instructors culturally insensitive to Muslims. Both the materials and the instructors were purged from the agency. The agency adopted a CVE training policy thereafter.
TheDC asked House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday if the GOP is so concerned about law enforcement being unable to investigate subjects with Islamic backgrounds as a result of accusations of discrimination, then why Republicans overwhelmingly support the bill?
“I had concerns about this aspect of DHS and one of the reasons why we delayed the markup of the homeland security bill in the appropriations committee is because we wanted to look at all these issues to see if something needed to be improved through the appropriations process and that’s one of our concerns,” Ryan said.