WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House plans to hold a conference next month on efforts to counter violent extremism – in light of the past week’s shootings in France and earlier attacks in Canada and Australia.
The meeting will highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent extremists and their supporters from radicalising, recruiting and inspiring others in the United States and elsewhere to carry out violent acts.
The White House says the Feb 18 summit will build upon a US strategy to address the threat of violent extremism. The White House says cities such as Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St Paul have taken a leading role as part of their approach to crime prevention and community safety.
Representatives from other countries will attend, though the White House did not identify them. The main goal is to “better understand, identify and prevent the cycle of radicalisation to violence at home in the United States and abroad,” the White House said in a statement.
France’s ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, spoke of the need for a global strategy that combines a military response, information-sharing, law enforcement and coordination with Muslim countries “because they’re on the front lines of this crisis … and they are also the breeding ground of the crisis.” Araud said the conference was a good idea because “in a sense, France was not attacked as France. France was attacked as a Western democracy, and it could have happened everywhere in Europe, and, unfortunately, I guess, also in the US,” he told ABC’s “This Week.”