CVE Watch

The programs being designed and implemented across the country under the auspices of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) have drawn fire from Muslim community members and civil rights activists. They are criticized for unfairly targeting Muslims, being used for surveillance under the pretext of community outreach, and being based on an unfounded theory of radicalization. Despite the heavy criticism CVE has been subjected to, there remain lingering questions about precisely which communities are targeted, what research (and which experts) agencies are relying on for their approaches, how (or if) government agencies are planning to safeguard civil liberties, which community leaders are being supported and for what reasons, etc. By making the relevant government documents public, we hope to help answer some of these questions.

Image by JMacPherson via Flickr and is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

8 Articles

Homeland Security downplays threat of domestic terrorism

Despite the larger number of terror attacks committed by right-wing groups than Islamist extremists, the former are identified as a “persistent but largely limited threat” in a 2015 presentation by Homeland Security.

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How will Obama’s counter-terror program fare under the Trump administration?

President-elect Donald Trump’s calls for a database and “extreme vetting” of Muslims has understandably alarmed civil rights and Muslim organizations - but left unsaid in much of the discussion of Trump’s proposed policies toward Muslims, however, is any recognition of just how much these policies will depend on programs already established by the Obama administration.

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Montgomery County’s flawed model for nationwide counterterror programs

Since 2013, the Montgomery County Model (MCM) has been hailed as the gold standard for community-based Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs across the country. Despite these accolades, there is little indication that MCM has been able to resolve the concerns raised by Muslim and civil rights groups about these counterterrorism programs - in fact, MCM seems to have proceeded simply by ignoring such concerns, helped by the secrecy with which the program operates.

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2011 FBI report finds “broadening U.S. military presence” responsible for rise in terror attacks

An Intelligence Assessment of terrorist plots against the United States and U.S. interests between 2001 and 2010 concluded that “a broadening U.S. military presence overseas and outreach by Islamist ideologues” was behind an 11 percent increase in plotted attacks since 2006. And yet, by focusing on Muslim communities, Obama’s counterterrorism program sidesteps questions about US policies which continually produce terrorists.

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Homeland Security wants to recruit Muslim communities to spy on themselves

Homeland Security hopes to build grassroots support for its controversial Countering Violent Extremism program within American Muslim communities by fostering relationships between those communities and local police departments. The approach is marketed as a collaborative way to solve problems, but it rests on establishing a relationship which would commit community members into the work of policing.

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Department of Education refuses to release its feedback of FBI’s Counter-Extremism website

The Department of Education has rejected a FOIA request for departmental feedback on the FBI’s Countering Violent Extremism website, which recruits teachers to spy on “troubled” Muslim teens.

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Boston finds Muslim surveillance program “flawed and problematic,” but implements it anyway

Civil rights groups have frequently lodged complaints against government counter-extremism strategies that rely on unfounded theories of radicalization and stigmatize American-Muslim communities. To its credit, the group tasked with drafting the Greater Boston Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) framework goes to great lengths to acknowledge these criticisms – but those acknowledgments ultimately proves ineffectual in making an impact on the final strategy.

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Monitoring the monitors: Introducing the CVE Watch Project

The Obama administration’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) platform has so far given rise to dozens of programs being implemented across the country. Aside from a few frameworks made available for public consumption, details about many of the programs remain hidden from public view. This is particularly remarkable given the criticism these programs have faced from Muslim community members and civil liberties activists.

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67 Requests

Awaiting Acknowledgement

Boston Countering Violent Extremism

Waqas Mirza sent this request to the Boston Public Schools of Boston, MA

Partially Completed

1 file

Boston Countering Violent Extremism

Waqas Mirza sent this request to the Boston Police Department of Boston, MA

No Responsive Documents

4 files

CIOGC Grant

Waqas Mirza sent this request to the Department of Justice of the United States of America

Awaiting Acknowledgement

Correspondence regarding CAIR and CVE

Waqas Mirza sent this request to the Broward County Sheriff of Broward County, FL

Awaiting Response

2 files

CVE E-mails

Waqas Mirza sent this request to the U.S. Department of Education of the United States of America

No Responsive Documents

1 file

CVE/PEACE Name Change

Waqas Mirza sent this request to the Attorney General's Office of Massachusetts

Awaiting Response

DHS CVE Grant Application

Waqas Mirza sent this request to the Arlington Police Department of Arlington, TX

Completed

1 file

DHS CVE Grant Application

Waqas Mirza sent this request to the Mayor's Office of Houston, TX

Awaiting Acknowledgement

Models of Radicalization

Waqas Mirza sent this request to the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America

Awaiting Response

2 files

Youth Worker Program

Waqas Mirza sent this request to the Minneapolis Public Schools of Minneapolis, MN