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US creating new units to combat terrorist propaganda - White House

January 09, 4:55 UTC+3
Their task will be to counter the spread of extremist ideology of the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda groups
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Assistant Defense Secretary for Special Operations/ Low-Intensity Conflict Michael Lumpkin

Assistant Defense Secretary for Special Operations/ Low-Intensity Conflict Michael Lumpkin

©  EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS, archive

WASHINGTON, January 9. /TASS/. The United States is creating new units to combat terrorist propaganda inside the country and abroad, spokesman for the White House National Security Council (NSC) Ned Price said on Friday. Their task will be to counter the spread of extremist ideology of the Islamic State (IS, outlawed in Russia) and Al Qaeda (outlawed in Russia) groups.

According to him, "Today the US Government is announcing new initiatives to improve our international and domestic efforts to counter violent extremism. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice will announce the establishment of the Countering Violent Extremism Task Force, a new organization that will integrate and harmonize domestic CVE efforts here at home."

"The State Department will establish the Global Engagement Centre, which will allow us to place an intensified focus on empowering and enabling the voices of international partners, governmental and non-governmental, and shift away from direct messaging," Price said.

The US State department press service reported that the new Centre will be headed by Michael D. Lumpkin who "currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Defence for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, a Senate-confirmed position he has held since late 2013. In this role, Mr. Lumpkin oversees all special operations, including counterterrorism, counter narcotics, and humanitarian and disaster relief efforts." Now he will also be in charge of counterterrorist propaganda.

"Under Mr. Lumpkin’s leadership, the Global Engagement Centre will employ a strategy defined by: Drawing upon data and metrics to develop, test, and evaluate themes, messages, and messengers; Building narratives around thematic campaigns on the misdeeds of our enemy (e.g., poor governance, abuse of women, narratives of defectors), not the daily news cycle; Focusing on driving third-party content, in addition to our own; and Nurturing and empowering a global network of positive messengers," the US State Department said.

According to Ned Price, "Additionally, today some of the most senior officials from the White House and across the President’s national security team are meeting in Silicon Valley with representatives from a number of leading technology companies, to follow up on the President’s call in his address on December 6 for the government and private sector to work together to combat terrorism and counter violent extremism online. Today’s developments reflect President Obama’s commitment to take every possible action to confront and interdict terrorist activities wherever they occur, including online."

"The Centre will continue to be housed within the Department of State and staffed by experts from the private sector and US Government agencies charged with protecting our national interests and security - as well as the security of our allies - against the threat of international terrorism," the State Department said.

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