The White House today unveiled a new strategy to battle homegrown terrorism by fostering coordination between local authorities and teaching officials to better recognize violent extremism.
"Protecting our nation's communities from violent extremist recruitment and radicalization is a top national security priority. It is an effort that requires creativity, diligence and commitment to our fundamental rights and principles," read a report entitled, "Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States."
"What we have to do is be prepared for these different types of approaches that al Qaeda is pursuing," Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, told NPR. "The large attacks, the small attacks, the groups that are operating together and the individuals who may be vulnerable to these types of entreaties."
The plan outlined enhanced coordination between local partners - including schools and community groups - and federal law enforcement, and sought to empower communities by teaching local officials to recognize violent extremism.
"Just as we engage and raise awareness to prevent gang violence, sexual offenses, school shootings and other acts of violence, so too must we ensure that our communities are empowered to recognize threats of violent extremism and understand the range of government and nongovernment resources that can help keep their families, friends and neighbors safe," the report said.