The White House this week hosts a summit on countering violent extremism, days after murderous attacks with multiple victims in the U.S. and Europe, says the Christian Science Monitor. The meeting, featuring speakers and participants from the U.S. and abroad, has been in the works for months. It comes just as a new report warns of a rise in violence by “lone wolves” or “leaderless resistance” groups composed of no more than two people. Recent events at first glance are connected to Islam: The shooting deaths last week of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C., by a suspect who may have been motivated by religious hatred as well as other issues, and the shooting attacks on a free speech event and a synagogue in Copenhagen over the weekend, believed to have been inspired by Islamic radicalism. Two people were killed and five police officers wounded.
Under an Obama administration's program, Boston, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis-St. Paul have taken the lead “in building pilot 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 White House says. Overcoming distrust has been a challenge for federal officials. Some critics say the apprehension of people like Christopher Lee Cornell, charged with plotting an attack on the U.S. Capitol, amounts to legally questionable entrapment. The Los Angeles program has drawn criticism from civil rights groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations.