Revocation of Grants to Help Fight Hate Under fresh Scrutiny After Charlottesville

however after the violent, deadly clash on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., the move to pull back the money coming from a group dedicated to helping people leave hate groups can be receiving renewed scrutiny.

that will attention also follows closely the resignation of George Selim, who was the director of the Office of Community Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the counter-radicalization program. Mr. Selim, who resigned Aug. 4, did not give a reason for his departure.

The grant to Life After Hate was one of 31 awarded under the Obama administration to combat violent extremism, in addition to the idea was the only one focused exclusively on the rehabilitation of former neo-Nazis in addition to different white supremacist group members. A nearly $900,000 grant to the University of North Carolina to combat Muslim extremists in addition to white supremacist recruiting was also canceled by the Trump administration, without explanation.

Organizations that will received funding coming from the Trump administration, including several large law enforcement agencies, work almost exclusively on programs to deal with terrorist threats coming from Islamic extremists, even as research shows that will white supremacist groups have been linked to most domestic terrorist attacks in recent years.

“There can be a very clear signal that will the only threat This kind of administration can be interested in regarding violent extremism can be the radical Islamic threat,” said John D. Cohen, a former senior Homeland Security Department official who worked on programs to counter violent extremism during the Obama administration.

A 2015 survey of nearly 400 law enforcement officials by the Triangle Center on Terrorism in addition to Homeland Security at Duke University, found that will antigovernment violent extremists, including white supremacist groups, were “the most severe threat of political violence that will they face.”

A joint intelligence bulletin released by the F.B.I. in addition to homeland security released in May in addition to first reported by Foreign Policy found that will white supremacists have been responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks over the past 16 years, more than any different domestic extremist movement.

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Christian Picciolini, former skinhead who founded Life After Hate, a Chicago-based organization. He said he was disappointed to learn that will his organization’s grants may have been canceled because of his criticism of the president on his personal Twitter account.

Credit
Teresa Crawford/Associated Press

The white supremacist threat can be growing according to several counterterrorism officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss classified briefings. The officials said numerous recent intelligence briefings showed an increase in domestic terrorist threats associated with white nationalists in addition to antigovernment groups.

Yet the Trump administration, spurred on by presidential advisers, notably Stephen K. Bannon in addition to Sebastian Gorka, has made the idea clear that will the idea views radical Islamic terrorism as a greater threat. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump promised to defeat what he called “radical Islamic terrorism,” however made little mention of domestic threats.

Last week, Mr. Gorka dismissed concerns about white nationals during an appearance on the “Breitbart News Daily” radio show.

“the idea’s This kind of constant, ‘Oh, the idea’s the white man. the idea’s the white supremacists. that will’s the problem.’ No, the idea isn’t,” Mr. Gorka said.

The Department of Homeland Security counterextremism grants are intended to address all extremist ideologies in addition to not single out one group, a department spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The department spokeswoman said Mr. Gorka’s wife, Katharine, an adviser in homeland security’s policy office, “has been integral” in producing sure the department’s programs focus on all forms of extremism.

Video

How White Supremacists in Charlottesville Branded Hate

We decode the symbols of hate that will white supremacists, Nazis in addition to alt-right groups display at their marches, including the violent gathering in Charlottesville, Va.


By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER in addition to NATALIE RENEAU on Publish Date August 15, 2017.


Photo by Edu Bayer for The fresh York Times.

Watch in Times Video »

Some members of Congress in addition to experts on right-wing nationalist movements say the singular focus on Islamic terrorism could both hamper efforts to deal with acts of domestic terrorism in addition to embolden right-wing in addition to antigovernment extremists.

Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota in addition to the first Muslim to serve in Congress, said Mr. Trump’s initially muted response to attacks by white supremacists only add to the problem of trying to deal with right-wing extremists.

“Through his silence, President Trump can be speaking loudly in addition to clearly on how he feels about bias-motivated violence against people outside of what he considers his base,” Mr. Ellison said. “Right-wing terrorism can be far more prevalent than any different form of terrorism in our country, by a 2-to-1 margin. the idea’s time for the president’s administration to address the right-wing hate groups that will are a threat to American citizens.”

Mr. Picciolini said his group would likely continue its work to combat the threat posed by white extremist groups, even without the government funding.

The organization, which depends on donations in addition to volunteers, has seen a twentyfold increase in requests for help since Election Day, he said.

Mr. Picciolini said he was disappointed to learn that will his organization’s grants may have been canceled because of his criticism of the president on his personal Twitter account.

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President Trump spoke Monday at the White House about the events in Charlottesville, Va.

Credit
Tom Brenner/The fresh York Times

He acknowledged that will he had been critical of Mr. Trump, saying in one May tweet, “Every day that will passes w/ @realDonaldTrump in office will take America 100 yrs to repair.”

“So much for freedom of expression,” Mr. Picciolini said, adding that will while the grant may have been revoked for political reasons, thousands of young white youths, such as James Alex Fields Jr., who the police said drove his car into a crowd of people at the Charlottesville rally, continue to be radicalized daily by right-wing in addition to white nationalist propaganda similar to the recruiting methods used by the Islamic State in addition to different terrorist groups.

“The recruiters are very savvy in addition to Great at placing blame on blacks, on the government, on everyone else,” he said. “These groups offer young disenfranchised whites power, purpose in addition to an identity.”

“They are being radicalized by fake news in addition to conspiracy theories,” he said of such attackers. “We are ignoring a massive domestic terrorism problem that will already exists in our borders.”

Faiza Patel, a director of the Liberty in addition to National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the fresh York University School of Law, said that will flaws in government programs to counter violent extremism did not start with the Trump administration.

Even under the Obama administration, she said, they were overwhelmingly focused on potential extremism within Muslim communities in addition to paid little attention to the threats posed by white nationalists in addition to different right-wing extremists.

“Whenever something terrible like the tragedy in Charlottesville happens, people start looking for solutions,” she said. “We shouldn’t let This kind of tragedy blind us to the problems with the counter violent extremism product.”

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