From the Boston Marathon to the Islamic State: Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)

fightersThe Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s counterterrorism lecture series has organized numerous discussions focused on terrorism as a critical factor shaping and affecting U.S. Middle East policy. Since its inception in December 2007, the Institute’s lecture series has featured numerous officials from a diverse assortment of government agencies providing information and insights on every aspect of counterterrorism policy. In the 6th volume, the series continues the tradition by adding insights on the monumental changes in international terrorism policy since November 2013.  The six sections begin with an Introduction by Mathew Levitt and include the  following topics:

How the FBI is Evolving to Meet Threats in a Changing Environment- FBI deputy director, Mark Giuliano, discusses the steps that the FBI is currently taking to address threats to our national security.  Giuliano identified Cyber, complex counterterrorism threats, and foreign fighters as causes for most concern.

Revisiting U.S. CVE Efforts One Year After the Boston Bombing-  John Cohen, who is the Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis/Counterterrorism Coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security, used the anniversary of the Boston Bombing to discuss and give examples of how U.S. methods to “counter violent extremism must continuously evolve.”

Western Foreign Fighters in Syria: Implications for U.S. CVE Efforts– Shaarik Zafar, the Deputy Chief of the Homeland, Cyber, and Countering Violent Extremism Group in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, addressed possible implications that the increase in Western foreign fighters to Syria will have on CVE efforts and approaches that various agencies are implementing.

Confronting the Changing Face of Al-Qaeda Propaganda– Ambassador Alberto Fernandez, the Coordinator of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications at the State Department, described how the “new normal” in jihadist radicalization requires the “use of public diplomacy as a major soft-power tool in CVE tactics online and on the ground.”

New Strategies for Countering Homegrown Violent Extremism – Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE) president Hedieh Mirahmadi, and White House National Security Staff member George Selim lead a panel discussion on new strategies to CVE based on a “public-private partnership program” to share responsibilities in a “whole of community response” to grassroots terrorism.

Additional resources relating to The Washington Institute’s Stein Counterterrorism Lecture series are available at the Homeland Security Digital Library (some resources may require HSDL login) include:


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