1. Nancy Hiemstra (2014) argues that the term homeland security has become “the anchor for a powerful normative discourse, scripted and manipulated by authors of statecraft” (572). The concept of the “homeland” denotes and generates fear of the “excludable foreigner” (572). Recognizing how discursive representations of the “homeland” install the ideological undercurrents that drive the global war on terror and the criminalization of Muslim communities, I use the term national security, unless referencing a research participant, policy, or program. Recognizing the transnational flows of gendered racial capital, policing, war, and empire, I use the term U.S. security state rather than U.S. national security state. This follows Grewal (2017), who refers to the current phase of U.S. empire as the “security state” to mark the turn to war as the primary means to maintain its superpower status.
2. See, for example, Los Angeles Interagency Coordination Group in collaboration with community stakeholders 2015; Weine 2012; Weine and Ahmed 2012; Police Foundation 2016; United States Attorney’s Office of Minneapolis 2015; Nashville International Center for Empowerment 2016; and Denver Police Department 2016.
3. Pursue works to “stop terrorist attacks” by detecting and prosecuting terrorists. Protect intensifies the United Kingdom’s “protection against a terrorist attack” by enhancing the security of its borders, transportation systems, and critical infrastructures. Prepare seeks to “mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack” by establishing emergency management procedures (Her Majesty’s Government 2011, 6).
4. U.N. Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson (2016) explains that despite the primacy of CVE, “there is no generally acceptable definition of violent extremism” and no clear distinction between violent extremism and terrorism (4). In this book, I use these two terms interchangeably.
5. Although most Somalis with whom I spoke referred to themselves as “Somali,” they also identified as Muslim and pointed to their intersectional experiences with CVE as Black Muslim refugees. As Somali organizers taught me, an analysis of CVE in Minneapolis cannot ignore anti-Blackness as a defining feature of this national security approach.
6. In this book, I largely refrain from using the term American because “America” refers to two continents. In addition, not all people living in the United States identify as Americans. In educational anthropologist Thea Renda Abu El-Haj’s (2015) research, for example, youth sometimes identified as being Arab and having U.S. citizenship rather than identifying as American. By referring to participants as U.S. Muslims, Arabs, Somalis, or South Asians, I seek to disrupt the primacy of American identity and, instead, privilege the geopolitical location of research participants. In addition, I recognize the multiplicity of U.S. Muslims, noted in the use “Muslim communities” rather than “Muslim community.”
7. These FBI interpretations regarding the permissibility of racial profiling conform to the DOJ’s 2014 revision of its 2003 fact sheet (Department of Justice 2014a).
9. For a historical overview of the policies that have contributed to contemporary national security practices, please see the appendix.
10. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Benjamin Wittes revealed that the Department of Justice data Trump cited do not exist (Wittes 2018).
11. For more on this issue, please refer to C. Katz 2001b; Naber 2008; Shryock 2008; Bayoumi 2006; and Rana 2011.
12. These violent actors include Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (1999, Littleton, Colorado), Jared Loughner (2011, Tucson, Arizona), James Holmes (2012, Aurora, Colorado), and Adam Lanza (2012, Sandy Hook, Connecticut).
13. See, for example, Gallagher 2007; McNeal and Dunbar 2010; Casella 2003; and N. Nguyen 2013.
14. The acronym “pbuh” presumably stands for “peace be upon him,” an honorific phrase used after any mention of the prophets.
15. Under the “Technical Merit” section of its grant proposal, the DPD (2016) reported that “Colorado, with a population of 5,456,574, has experienced several instances of high profile violent extremism over the past two decades. The mass shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20, 1999, touched off a string of domestic and foreign terrorist acts and plots in the state, the most recent being the attacks on the Aurora Movie Theater shooting in July 2012 and the attack at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood site in November 2015” (2). All three of these acts of violence were perpetrated by white, U.S.-born young men.
16. Later, the DPD (2016) mentioned that “the Denver Metro airport has seen [ISIS] recruiting in recent years; in 2014 an Arvada resident was caught at Denver International Airport as she attempted to travel to Syria to meet and marry an ISIS fighter who had recruited her online. Later that same year, three Aurora teenage girls (two Somali sisters and their Sudanese friend) were also intercepted in Europe as they attempted a similar plan” (2). In this discussion, the DPD detailed the national origins of the “three Aurora teenage girls” but not the U.S.-born “Arvada resident.”
17. For more on these scientific studies, please see Horgan 2008; Patel 2011; and Patel and Koushik 2017.
18. Although community organizers invited me to attend this event, these quotations come from a publicly available online recording of this public forum and subsequent media posts citing the panelists.
1. Ethnographic Dilemmas
1. To conduct this study, I hired a research assistant, Stacey Krueger, who helped interview participants, observe CVE events, analyze policy documents, transcribe interviews, and contribute to the overall analysis of CVE. We often attended CVE events together, allowing us to debrief, compare notes, and provide different interpretations of the same data. We also transcribed each other’s interviews, which allowed us to become familiar with, and talk through, all data together.
2. Throughout this book, I use CVE actors as an umbrella term for all individuals directly involved in CVE work. The term therefore includes people in greater and lesser positions of power. Under this umbrella, I refer to street-level bureaucrats whose regular course of work involved constant contact with communities as “CVE practitioners” (Lipsky 1980). I describe individuals as “elite” if they served as powerful actors, like DHS agents or U.S. Attorneys. Given the growing commitment to “community outreach,” however, high-level actors often interfaced with local clients as a part of their work while street-level bureaucrats sometimes contributed to policymaking. These conditions blurred the distinctions between these categories. Lastly, in using these terms, I recognize that all CVE actors maintained varying degrees of power, influence, and privilege within their institutions and communities. A term like CVE practitioners thus encompasses a range of individuals with different roles and understandings of those roles.
3. The individuals with whom we spoke were young adults, typically college students and recent high school graduates.
4. Because CVE policies have targeted youth, I use pseudonyms for all young adults, even for public statements made in public forums such as local newspapers and events livestreamed online. At one event, a former FBI agent confirmed that the U.S. security state interpreted resistance to CVE as an indicator of terrorist radicalization. Publicly resisting CVE placed youth at risk of additional surveillance, harassment, and arrest. This agent implored the audience to “stand in front of the youth to protect them” from the crosshairs of the U.S. security state as they “speak up and speak out about CVE in their own communities.” Maintaining anonymity is one form of protection.
5. Sent and received through state email accounts, this message is a matter of public record and subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
2. Left of Boom
1. The U.S. government has used the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against perceived terrorist enterprises.
2. Although Kundnani (2014) uses the term culturalists, he notes that Mamdani (2004) uses the term culture talk and that Stolcke (1995) uses the term cultural fundamentalism to describe the same conceptual terrain (58n4).
3. In this book, I investigate explicitly liberal counterinsurgencies. As Khalili (2015) explains, “illiberal counterinsurgents—Russians in Chechnya, or the Sri Lankan defeat of the Tamil Tigers—use kinetic, or killing force indiscriminately and very often deploy the language of sovereignty as the ultimate justification for their use of force” (1). Liberal counterinsurgencies, however, “calibrate their use of force, co-opt legal and administrative apparatuses in the service of warfare, and increasingly deploy a language of humanitarianism and/or development as both the justification and impetus for war” (Khalili 2015, 1).
4. For more on the counterinsurgency cases that have informed the thinking of contemporary military strategists, please refer to Kilcullen 2010; Gorka and Kilcullen 2011; Sewall 2007; and U.S. Army/Marine Corps 2007.
5. When I asked Baker if CVE functioned as a counterinsurgency tool because “it’s kinetic; it’s non-kinetic; it’s hearts and minds,” he said, “No.” For him, “Under counterinsurgency, the state oftentimes is the direct provider along all five of these lines of services [engagement, prevention, intervention, interdiction, and rehabilitation/reintegration]. Essentially, insofar as U.S. domestic CVE is concerned, there is a division of labor, at least theoretically that’s meant to be there between civil society and private citizens on the one hand and state actors on the other.” In other words, Baker defined CVE in opposition to counterinsurgency because CVE was enacted, “at least theoretically,” by civil society and private citizens rather than state actors. However, as the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s Targeted Violence Prevention Program (TVPP) demonstrates, state actors, including law enforcement agents, have funded, and contributed to, local “community-led” CVE efforts. Furthermore, CVE has mobilized “civil society and private citizens” to carry out the functions of the police.
3. “The R Word”
1. For a comprehensive summary of the indicators used to identify individuals at risk of or in the process of radicalizing, please refer to Patel, Lindsay, and DenUyl 2018a.
2. For the full study, please see Pyrooz et al. 2018.
1. Initially used by U.S. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway to reframe a false statement as factual, the term “alternative fact” is a pejorative colloquialism that describes a lie.
2. CIE stands for Countering Islamic Extremism.
3. According to its website, “The Redirect Method uses Adwords targeting tools and curated YouTube videos uploaded by people all around the world to confront online radicalization. It focuses on the slice of ISIS’ audience that is most susceptible to its messaging, and redirects them towards curated YouTube videos debunking ISIS recruiting themes” (for more, please see https://redirectmethod.org/).
4. These rebranding strategies followed the DHS Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council’s recommendation to use terminology that “positively resonates with intended audiences,” rather than CVE (2017, 5).
5. Following these community organizations, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti turned down the city’s $425,000 CVE grant in 2018, after a year of community protests and public forums.
6. In fact, Aysha Khoury reported that when Muslim youth “define their own problem space,” only 20 percent of the responses “are around anything to do with violent extremism. It’s just not a major issue for anyone’s life” (interview, January 25, 2017, emphasis in original).
7. Evoking Malcolm X’s 1964 “Ballot or Bullet” speech, Average Mo implored Muslim youth to turn to democratic practices like voting, rather than terrorist violence, to express their political, social, and economic grievances. The choices Average Mo listed, however, constrained political expression to conventional democratic exercises rather than more radical forms of political power, including protesting in the streets and reimagining the social structures that organize everyday life in the United States. In fact, Malcom X declared in his “Ballot or Bullet” speech that “if it’s necessary to form a black nationalist army, we’ll form a black nationalist army. It’ll be the ballot or the bullet. It’ll be liberty or it’ll be death.” Contravening Average Mo’s choice between democratic inclusion and terrorism, Malcolm X envisioned a Black nationalist movement that struggled for political independence, community control, and self-determination. Malcolm X never sought inclusion into mainstream politics; he viewed the political machine as inherently anti-Black and therefore demanded Black sovereignty, not recognition.
5. The Generational Threat
1. In addition to implementing global citizenship education, Kovac stressed the importance of using the Intercultural Development Inventory’s assessment tool “to measure progress on the creation of the global citizen, from ethnocentric to ethno-relative.”
2. Kovac drew from the field of international education, which has examined the relationship between conflict and education (Novelli 2010a, 2010b; Burde 2005, 2007, 2014; Bush and Saltarelli 2000).
4. For more on this issue, please refer to M. W. Morris 2016; Fenning and Rose 2007; Nolan 2011; Reyes 2006; Fuentes 2011; McNeal and Dunbar 2010; Verdugo 2002; Noguera 2003; Sojoyner 2016; and Vaught 2017.
5. In 2009, the FBI also launched an intelligence-gathering community engagement program called Specialized Community Outreach Teams (SCOT). The SCOT program’s mission was “to strategically expand outreach to the Somali community to address counterterrorism-related issues” (Federal Bureau of Investigation 2009, 2–3). The SCOT program leveraged “FBI outreach to support operational programs” in Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Seattle, San Diego, Denver, and Washington, D.C. (7). To “establish a more focused outreach effort” with the assistance of FBI community outreach specialists, intelligence analysts, supervisory special agents, and linguists, the SCOT program developed a “baseline profile of individuals that are vulnerable to being radicalized or participating in extremist activities in order to establish a more focused outreach effort” (5). Community outreach programs like SCOT have served as “the FBI’s initial conduit into the diverse communities in which we serve” and have facilitated the reporting of suspicious individuals (2).