US announces task force to combat violent extremism

New Delhi :The White House has announced new steps to counter violent extremism, including the formation of a task force to counter recruitment by terror groups like Islamic State, in the aftermath of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.

“The horrific attacks in Paris and San Bernardino this winter underscored the need for the United States and our partners in the international community and the private sector to deny violent extremists like IS fertile recruitment ground,” National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said
The US has focused on strengthening its effort to prevent violent extremists from radicalising and mobilising recruits at home and abroad, Price said in a statement yesterday.

Homeland Security and Justice Departments announced the establishment of the inter-agency Countering Violent Extremism Task Force. The task force will be based at the Homeland Security Department and will work on domestic efforts to tackle violent extremism.

The State Department said it will establish a Global Engagement Center, that will produce anti-terror messages to foreign audiences to undermine online propaganda by terror groups including IS and al-Qaeda.

“At this critical stage in the fight against Daesh and in the global effort to counter violent extremism the GEC will lead the effort to synchronise messaging to foreign audiences that will counter the destructive messages of violent extremist groups,” Secretary of State John Kerry, said.

Meanwhile, senior officials from the White House and the President’s national security team will today hold meetings in Silicon Valley with leading technology companies, in an effort to enlist private sector help to contain terror threats.

This comes after Obama’s call in his address on December 6 for government and private sector to work together to combat terrorism and counter violent extremism online, Price said.

“By bringing together agencies from across the Executive Branch, this innovative task force will allow us to more efficiently and effectively support local efforts to counter violent extremism,” Attorney General Loretta E Lynch said.