From: Kelley, Craig
Sent: Friday, August 14, 2015 10:49 AM
Subject: Craig Kelley's notes on Homegrown Violent Extremism talk by FBI in May
You have expressed an interest in how Cambridge handles out-of-the-ordinary public safety issues, ranging from hurricanes to terrorist attacks. I recently (May, actually) attended a meeting of the Cambridge Public Safety Association where a local FBI Special Agent discussed the threat of Homegrown Violent Extremism (HVE) and I thought I’d pass on my notes. A couple of caveats though:
My notes reflect the flow of the meeting and, I am sure, don’t perfectly reflect what was discussed. Please excuse my mistakes.
While the talk focused on HVE as it relates to current violence in the Middle East and Muslim Extremists, there are lots and lots of other violent extremists in America, homegrown and otherwise, and we need to be careful about limiting HVE discussions to just one threat group. If we’re not talking about this issue in the right way, we’re not going to have a very productive result. Perhaps worse, focusing on just one group can twist public perception about these threats in a way that demonizes specific populations and increases social tensions.
The audience was almost entirely law enforcement. In some ways, that makes sense but in many ways, if we want to produce good public policy and effective public safety measures, we need to have all sorts of people involved in all of these discussions unless they are of a tactical nature. Black Lives Matter! and the ACLU are two groups I said I’d wished had been in the room , both to learn from the FBI and to, in the question and answer period (and the various conversations after the presentation), provide other viewpoints, but there are lots of other groups that need to be involved as well. We need to get a lot better at talking across boundaries, on all sides of the political spectrum, about issues that concern us all.
Otherwise, I hope you find these notes interesting and I encourage you to check out the links as well.
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