By Thomas Phippen
Through the grants, DHS hopes to create programs that “enhance the resilience of communities” to recruitment efforts and offer “alternative messages” to terrorist radicalization efforts, according to a grant award notice posted Wednesday.
Programs eligible to receive funding range from mental health services and job training to “challenging the narrative” through marketing and online outreach. (RELATED: State Department Paid College Students $12,000 To Make Hashtags)
While the grant notification does not mention ISIS or refer to Islamic terrorism, a DHS official told Reuters the grant would be “aimed at combating Muslim extremism.”
Following the Boston Marathon bombing, the government had to reexamine how they fight domestic terrorism, the official said, noting that law enforcement agencies can’t always intervene when an individual shows signs of radicalization, as was the case with Omar Mateen.
Mateen was “on the radar” of the FBI before he pledged support for ISIS and killed 49 people in Orlando. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will assist in evaluating proposals for the grants.
DHS began a pilot anti-radicalization program in Boston, Minneapolis and San Diego in 2014. By last March, little to no progress had been made in any of the three cities.
“I wouldn’t call this a failure,” Donini-Melanson, of the Boston U.S. Attorney’s office told The Associated Press at the time. “Let us get to a point where we have some funded programs and where there is some level of measurement to determine whether these efforts are successful or not.”
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