Washington Free Beacon, by Natalie Jonson, February 2, 2017:
The Trump administration will redesign a U.S. counterterrorism program created to combat radical ideologies so that it exclusively focuses on Islamist extremism, according to officials familiar with the change.
The administration’s plan will streamline the “Countering Violent Extremism” program that currently targets groups such as white supremacists who have carried out bombings and shootings in the U.S., Reuters reported Thursday.
The program will be renamed “Countering Islamic Extremism” to reflect the shift.
The program deploys educational programs and counter-messaging campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook in an attempt to discourage potential lone wolf attackers.
The restructure echoes President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric and criticism against the Obama administration for refusing to identify the fight against the Islamic State as a fight against “radical Islamic extremism.”
Proponents of the program as is fear the shakeup will alienate Muslims who are distrustful of the Trump administration. The director of policy for the Muslim Public Affairs Council told Reuters the program’s rebranding is of particular concern because she says it casts Muslims “under a net of suspicion.”
Trump last week issued an executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days over fears of terrorism. The president also suspended the nation’s refugee program for 120 days.
I have extensive archives here at CJR on the history of the CVE debacle. And over at Jihad Watch today Robert Spencer explains what happened to him that led to the purge of counter terrorism training and subsequently the CVE program.