Using Principles of Community Policing to Address Online Radicalization to Violence

Many types of predators use the Internet to ensnare young people. The online environment allows dangerous people to communicate with young people directly, in familiar environments and with little detection from parents and other responsible adults. Law enforcement agencies know all too well that youth in their jurisdictions can be put in harm’s way by these online predators. Law enforcement agencies have been proactive in dealing with these emerging threats to their communities through tools such as Internet safety educational workshops. These tools also can be a significant asset to empower parents to counter another kind of emerging threat online: recruitment by violent extremists.

Federal partners such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) work together with local law enforcement and nonprofit groups to identify ways that local communities can prevent young people from being attracted to the deceitful messages of terrorist groups. The NCTC recently collaborated with a sheriff’s department, federal government partners, and community leaders to educate a local community about Internet safety, including online terrorist recruiting.