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LA's counter-extremism efforts highlighted at CVE summit




US President Barack Obama (C) greets United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after speaking at the White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism at the State Department on February 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (C) greets United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after speaking at the White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism at the State Department on February 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

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President Obama and Vice President Biden have been meeting with National and International leaders for a 3-day summit this week on Countering Violent Extremism. In the wake of recent deadly attacks in Copenhagen and Paris, perpetrated by homegrown terrorists, the summit's focus is on how local communities can help prevent violent extremism.

The White House has been well-aware of the threat of homegrown extremism for some time. But the long-time strategy at the national and local levels was one of law enforcement - gathering intelligence and working with federal and local police to thwart individuals on the verge of carrying out a violent act.

Now, with the Islamic State successfully recruiting youth from the US and throughout Europe to fight in the Middle East, and convincing some to commit terrorist acts at home - a change in prevention policy is in order.

That's what is being discussed at the CVE summit.  The Obama Administration and other world leaders are turning to community leaders to establish youth outreach programs focused on recognizing vulnerable individuals who are flirting with extremist ideas before the ideas take hold. The programs will offer young people resources and support, including mental health services.

In Los Angeles, groups like the Muslim Public Affairs Counsel have already implemented programs - namely, the Safe Spaces Initiative - aimed at reaching at-risk young people. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have also been working with LAPD to deter radicalization since the Fall of 2014.

Steve Weine has studied the counter-extremism efforts underway in LA - one of three pilot cities, along with Boston and Minneapolis, whose efforts were featured at this week's CVE summit. He's a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois who's studied Radicalization and Violent Extremism Prevention, and he attended the first two days of the summit.

Weine joined Take Two, along with Andy Liepman. Liepman is a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation and the former Principal Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.