US lacks strategy to counter ISIL influence: Lieberman

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Rest of World
Saturday, 25 October 2014

Former US vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman criticizes the Obama administration for lacking a comprehensive strategy to counter the propaganda influence of the ISIL terrorist organization within the United States.

"Several government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, have outreach programs to discuss this threat in meetings with community leaders in major cities,” wrote Lieberman in a Wall Street Journal editorial.

However, he warned that ISIL terrorists were targeting US citizens online through their sophisticated propaganda machine and that the US government had no clear strategy to stop the “online radicalization” of Americans.

Efforts by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to dissuade people from engaging in extremist activity online were “sporadic” and carried out “ad hoc,” Lieberman charged.

Lieberman said an effective strategy to counter ISIL propaganda would integrate "counter-messaging, community engagement and law-enforcement efforts."

A spate of recent attacks in the West, including on the Canadian Parliament and New York police officers, is raising new fears about the capacity of ISIL to entice individuals moved by the group's ideology to carry out lone-wolf acts of terrorism.

The ISIL terrorists, some of whom were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria.

US intelligence estimates that as many as 300 Americans are fighting alongside the terrorists in Iraq and Syria, prompting widespread concern that they may threaten the homeland upon their return.

Since September 22, the US and several of its Arab allies have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

The Syria air campaign is an extension of airstrikes on ISIL positions in neighboring Iraq, launched by the US and some of its NATO allies since August 9.

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