Violent extremism—generally defined as ideologically, religious, or politically- motivated acts of violence—has been perpetrated in the United States by white supremacists, anti-government groups, and radical Islamist entities, among others. In 2011, the U.S. government developed a national strategy and SIP for CVE aimed at providing information and resources to communities. In 2016, an interagency CVE Task Force led by DHS and DOJ was created to coordinate CVE efforts.
GAO was asked to review domestic federal CVE efforts. This report addresses the extent to which (1) DHS, DOJ, and other key stakeholders tasked with CVE in the United States have implemented the 2011 SIP and (2) the federal government has developed a strategy to implement CVE activities, and the CVE Task Force has assessed progress. GAO assessed the status of activities in the 2011 SIP; interviewed officials from agencies leading CVE efforts and a non-generalizable group of community-based entities selected from cities with CVE frameworks; and compared Task Force activities to selected best practices for multi- agency efforts.
As of December 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation, and National Counterterrorism Center had implemented 19 of the 44 domestically-focused tasks identified in the 2011 Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for countering violent extremism (CVE) in the United States. Twenty-three tasks were in progress and no action had yet been taken on 2 tasks.
The 44 tasks aim to address three core CVE objectives: community outreach, research and training, and capacity building. Implemented tasks include, for example, DOJ conducting CVE outreach meetings to communities targeted by violent extremism and DHS integrating CVE content into law enforcement counterterrorism training. Tasks in progress include, for example, DHS building relationships with the social media industry and increasing training available to communities to counter violent extremists online.
Tasks that had not yet been addressed include, implementing CVE activities in prisons and learning from former violent extremists. Federal CVE efforts aim to educate and prevent radicalization before a crime or terrorist act transpires, and differ from counterterrorism efforts such as collecting evidence and making arrests before an event has occurred.
Full report here ---> click to open