The lack of an effective, comprehensive system for finding, redirecting and rehabilitating individuals who may be on a path to violent extremism is a serious flaw in counter-extremism strategy, says a new bipartisan report. Unless such a system is in place, it adds, law-enforcement officials will be left to try to prevent attacks only after the would-be terrorist becomes operational, The Washington Post reports:
The report, based on a year-long study commissioned by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank, urges federal backing for an array of programs that would seek to prevent radicalization from taking root in local communities, as well as measures to identify and help individuals who are already on a path toward radicalism… It calls for a three-tiered system that would seek to limit exposure to extremist ideology in the first place, then spot potential problems and respond to them before they turn into serious threats. The approach would draw in a wide array of community organizations — from mosques, churches and civic organizations to social workers and mental health counselors.
“Fighting terrorism requires both tactical efforts to thwart attacks and strategic efforts to counter the extremist radicalization that fuels its hatred and violence and undergirds its strategy and global appeal,” says the report. RTWT