Two White House reports describe the strategy to prevent violent extremism.
Sadly, the threat of violent extremism in America is nothing new. Throughout our history, misguided groups - including international and domestic terrorist organizations, neo-Nazis and anti-Semitic hate groups - have engaged in horrific violence to kill our citizens and threaten our way of life. Most recently, al-Qa'ida and its affiliates have attempted to recruit and radicalize people to terrorism here in the United States, as we have seen in several plots and attacks, including the deadly attack two years ago on our service members at Fort Hood.
As a government, we are working to prevent all types of extremism that leads to violence, regardless of who inspires it. At the same time, countering al-Qa'ida's violent ideology is one part of our comprehensive strategy to defeat al-Qa'ida. Over the past 2 1/2 years, more key al-Qa'ida leaders - including Usama bin Laden - have been eliminated in rapid succession than at any time since the September 11 attacks. We have strengthened homeland security and improved information sharing. Thanks to coordinated intelligence and law enforcement, numerous terrorist plots have been thwarted, saving many American lives.
Protecting American communities from al-Qa'ida's hateful ideology is not the work of government alone. Communities - especially Muslim American communities whose children, families and neighbors are being targeted for recruitment by al-Qa'ida - are often best positioned to take the lead because they know their communities best. Indeed, Muslim American communities have categorically condemned terrorism, worked with law enforcement to help prevent terrorist attacks, and forged creative programs to protect their sons and daughters from al-Qa'ida's murderous ideology.
The strategy that follows outlines how the Federal Government will support and help empower American communities and their local partners in their grassroots efforts to prevent violent extremism. This strategy commits the Federal Government to improving support to communities, including sharing more information about the threat of radicalization; strengthening cooperation with local law enforcement, who work with these communities every day; and helping communities to better understand and protect themselves against violent extremist propaganda, especially online.
Most of all, this strategy reaffirms the fundamental American principles that guide our efforts. As we approach the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we remember that al-Qa'ida tried to spark a conflict between faiths and divide us as Americans. But they failed. As this strategy makes clear, we will not waver in defense of our country or our communities. We will defeat al-Qa'ida and its affiliates. We will uphold the civil rights and civil liberties of every American. And we will go forward together, as Americans, knowing that our rich diversity of backgrounds and faiths makes us stronger and is a key to our national security.