Thursday, December 17th 2015
“It's imperative that the Saudis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis and others stop their citizens from supporting radical schools, madrassas and mosques around the world, once and for all, and that should be the top priority in all of our discussions with these countries.” This was among the observations of former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, speaking at the University of Minnesota on December 15, 2015. Describing her comprehensive plan to bolster homeland security, she cited the organization of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications. Here are some bullets that touch on Public Diplomacy:
- Sadly, in America in 2015, turning on the news and hearing about a mass shooting is not unusual. But this one turned out to be different, because these killers were a husband and wife inspired by ISIS.
- But in the Twin Cities, you have also seen firsthand how communities come together to resist radicalization: local imams condemning terrorist violence, local artists and activists pushing back against terrorist propaganda.
- . . . in a speech last month before the Council on Foreign Relations I laid out a three-part plan to defeat ISIS and the broader extremist movement.
- Second, defeat them around the world by dismantling the global network of terror that supplies radical jihadists with money, arms, propaganda, and fighters.
- And third, defeat them here at home by foiling plots, disrupting radicalization, and hardening our defenses.
- So there is a lot to do, and today, I want to focus on the third part of my plan, how we defend our country and prevent radicalization here at home.
- We need a comprehensive strategy to counter each step in the process that can lead to an attack like the one in San Bernardino.
- First, we have to shut down ISIS recruitment in the United States, especially online.
- And fifth, empower our Muslim-American communities, who are on the front-lines of the fight against radicalization.
- This is a 360-degree strategy to keep America safe, and I want to walk through each of the elements, from recruitment to training to planning to execution.
- First, shutting down recruitment. We have to stop jihadists from radicalizing new recruits in-person and through social media, chat rooms, and what's called the "Dark Web."
- To do that, we need stronger relationships between Washington, Silicon Valley, and all of our great tech companies and entrepreneurs. American innovation is a powerful force, and we have to put it to work defeating ISIS.
- That starts with understanding where and how recruitment happens. Our security professionals need to more effectively track and analyze ISIS's social media posts and map jihadist networks, and they need help from the tech community.
- Companies should redouble their efforts to maintain and enforce their own service agreements and other necessary policies to police their networks, identifying extremist content and removing it.
- At the State Department, I started an interagency center to combat violent jihadist messages, to have a better way to communicate on behalf of our values, and to give young people drawn to those messages an alternative narrative.
- We recruited specialists fluent in Arabic, Urdu, and Somali to wave online battles with extremists to counter their propaganda.
- Now, those efforts have not kept pace with the threat, so we need to step up our game, in partnership with the private sector and credible moderate voices outside government.
- But that's just some of what we have to do. Experts from the FBI, the intelligence community, Homeland Security, DOD, the State Department, and the technology industry should work together to develop a unified national strategy to defeat ISIS in cyberspace, using all of our capabilities to deny jihadists virtual territory, just as we work to deny them actual territory.
- And at the same time, we also have to do more to address the challenge of radicalization, whatever form it takes.
- It's imperative that the Saudis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis and others stop their citizens from supporting radical schools, madrassas and mosques around the world, once and for all, and that should be the top priority in all of our discussions with these countries.
- Finally, the fifth element in the strategy is empowering Muslim-American communities who are on the front-lines of the fight against radicalization. . . . These Americans may be our first, last, and best defense against home grown radicalization and terrorism. They are the most likely to recognize the insidious effects of radicalization before it's too late, intervene to help set a young person straight. They are the best positioned to block anything going forward.
- That's why law enforcement has worked so hard since 9/11 to build up trust and strong relationships within Muslim-American communities.
- . . . demonizing Muslims also feeds a narrative that jihadists use to recruit new followers around the world, that the United States is at war with Islam. As both the Pentagon and the FBI have said in the past week, we cannot in any way lend credence to that twisted idea. This is not a clash of civilizations. It's a clash between civilization and barbarism and that's how it must be seen and fought.