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What's the Big Idea? Confronting the Ideology of Islamist Extremism

Frank J. Cilluffo, J. Scott Carpenter, and Matthew Levitt

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Homeland Security Policy Institute Issue Brief

February 4, 2011


The Obama administration's primary counterterrorism challenge is to articulate a counterradicalization policy that confronts the problem through a whole-of-government approach, augmented by nongovernmental and societal efforts.

The United States has experienced a spate of recent homegrown terrorism cases, most notably the Fort Hood shooting and "Jihad Jane," that are a stark reminder of the threat posed by homegrown radicalization. The primary challenge for the Obama administration in this milieu is to articulate a counterradicalization policy that confronts the problem through a whole-of-government approach, augmented by nongovernmental and societal efforts.

Frank J. Cilluffo is . . . , Matthew Levitt is director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, and J. Scott Carpenter is Keston Family fellow and director of Project Fikra.