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White House Lays Out Strategy to Fight Violent Extremism

August 14, 2011

White House officials say al-Qaida remains the biggest terror threat to the United States, but that government efforts to combat violent extremism should not focus solely on Islamic radicals.

Below is a link to the President’s plan for how the Federal Government will support and help empower American communities and their local partners to prevent violent extremism. You can read the plan “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States” here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/empowering_local_partners.pdf

In a report released Wednesday, the White House revealed its broad strategy to prevent ideologically inspired attacks.

While the report said al-Qaida and its affiliates are the "pre-eminent" threat to the United States, it also said the government should work to counter al-Qaida's claim that the U.S. is "at war with Islam," saying intelligence efforts focusing on a single form of extremism are counter-productive.

The report calls for increased educational efforts, such as after-school and community outreach programs, to help prevent violent ideologies from developing in children. It also calls for federal law enforcement agencies to work closer with state and local officials in identifying potential threats.

On Wednesday, Congressman Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security committee, expressed concern that the report "suggests equivalency of threats between al-Qaida and domestic extremists."

King has been criticized for holding a series of Congressional hearings that specifically investigate threats posed by radicalized Muslims.

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