Despite this decade’s surge in domestic terror threats, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to defund an anti-terrorism program that trains state and local law enforcement to deal with terror threats.
Since its inception in 1996 after the bombing of an Oklahoma City government building, the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) program has trained more than 142,000 officers across the country. The program’s funding runs out on Sept. 30, and the DOJ has not announced any plans to renew it, the Kansas City Star reported Sunday. The program educates officers about Islam and helps them identify warning signs of domestic terrorism, according to its website.
The program has faced increasing funding cuts since 2014 when its funding was halved to $1 million. In 2015, the Republican Congress ignored former President Barack Obama’s requests to increase the program’s funding back to $2 million. Congress has granted the training $1 million annually since 2015, but the Trump administration hasn’t requested any funding for 2018. This will effectively kill the program when funding runs out Sept. 30.
While the DOJ did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation regarding why it is allowing the program to expire, it may be that the program has become redundant.
Trump announced this spring he was reforming and re-naming the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program, to narrow its focus more exclusively on Islamic extremism. The administration has not announced the program’s new name, however.
CVE and SLATT have large areas of overlap: both focus on partnering with local communities to prevent domestic terrorism, especially by lone-wolf attackers, and both offer education programs to help people identify terror threats.
Congress allotted $10 million in grants to go to the CVE program, and CVE received its first round of those grant funds in January, Reuters reported.
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