Homeland Security establishes office to combat violent extremism

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson this week announced the creation of the Office for Community Partnerships, which will be dedicated to countering violent extremism through community partnerships.

The Community Partnerships Office, part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will build relationships and promote trust in local U.S. communities. Part of that mission will be finding innovative ways to support communities seeking to discourage violent extremism and undercut terrorist narratives.

Johnson said the DHS would consolidate and reassign key personnel to the office. Presently that personnel is working to counter violent extremism, but in various different areas of the DHS.

“Longer term, we intend to call upon DHS personnel in field offices across the country to take part in our efforts at building community partnerships, under the coordination of this office,” Johnson said. “The office will coordinate its efforts with other departments and agencies in the federal government, and with similar efforts at the state and local government level.”

Johnson appointed George Selim to head the new DHS Office for Community Partnerships. Selim has been the director for Community Partnerships for the National Security Council since 2012. He also served as a senior policy adviser in DHS’ Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and also has served at the Community Relations Service for the Justice Department.

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