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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.

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Despite unclear benefits, 2020 candidates support CVE programs

Despite unclear benefits, 2020 candidates support CVE programs

Presidential contenders have pledged to expand CVE funding, but existing evaluations leave questions about their effectiveness.

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Controversial Obama-era counterrorism program continues uninterrupted in Colorado

Controversial Obama-era counterrorism program continues uninterrupted in Colorado

New documents raise questions about Denver Police Department continued participation in a controversial Obama-era counterrorism program.

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National Counterterrorism Center handbook lists "dissatisfaction with job" as a potential sign of extremism

National Counterterrorism Center handbook lists “dissatisfaction with job” as a potential sign of extremism

Countering Violent Extremism initiatives rest on the core assumption that it is possible to detect and stop violent extremists before they carry out attacks, through theories of radicalization which identify behaviors that are thought to be “indicators” or “risk factors.” This logic is the driving force behind the National Counterterrorism Center’s annual handbook for law enforcement agencies, which provides guidance for spotting these indicators - from legitimate calls to violence, to more troubling grey areas, such as “expressing frustration with employment situation.”

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FBI struggled with "messaging challenges" surrounding its controversial counterterror program for teens

FBI struggled with “messaging challenges” surrounding its controversial counterterror program for teens

FBI officials fretted over critical press coverage of their interactive website and online game on violent extremism aimed at high school students and attempted to assuage concerns raised by civil liberties and Muslim organizations, according to documents released through a FOIA request.

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Nebraska’s counterterror proposal doubles down on discredited science

Nebraska’s counterterror proposal doubles down on discredited science

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency is the latest, and possibly last, recipient of an Obama-era counterterrorism grant, which awarded the state $300 thousand towards “countering violent extremism in rural and small to mid-sized communities.” NEMA’s proposal, released through a public records request, shows the agency aims to accomplish this by relying on the same flawed, problematic psychology of its predecessors.

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