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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 17, 2015

U.S. Attorney Dettelbach in Washington to Participate in Conference on Countering Violent Extremism

U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach is in Washington, D.C. to participate in a conference focused on countering violent extremism.

“This is an opportunity to further home a national security strategy designed to make us all safer,” Dettelbach said. “Not only can we share the important work done in our district but, as importantly, we will learn more about what is working in other parts of the country and internationally to prevent homegrown extremism. We need to continue to forge strong partnerships among different government agencies and with the community to counter the false narratives being put out by extremists and keep our communities and our citizens safe."

The conference, convened by the White House, will take place from Tuesday to Thursday. It will focus on domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence, efforts made even more imperative in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, and Paris.  This summit will build on the strategy the White House released in August of 2011, Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States, the first national strategy to prevent violent extremism domestically.

Efforts to devise a national strategy in this area rely heavily on well-informed and resilient local communities.  National efforts must focus on building frameworks integrating a range of social service providers, including education administrators, mental health professionals, and religious leaders, with law enforcement agencies to address violent extremism as part of the broader mandate of community safety and crime prevention.  The summit will highlight best practices and emerging efforts in that vein.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio has prosecuted domestic terrorism and religiously motivated attacks in recent years, including a group of self-described anarchists who plotted to blow up a bridge in Northeast Ohio, the arson of the largest mosque in the Toledo area and a man in the Toledo area who illegally assembled an arsenal of weapons, ammunition and body armor while tracking the movements of Jewish and African-American leaders.

The office has also done extensive community outreach to a variety of communities, including hosting a “Civics Day” for Arab and Muslim teens, conducting computer safety training for teens and parents and held town hall meetings focused on improving relationships between the community and law enforcement.

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Updated March 17, 2015