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TerrorismTraining people to fight terrorism at grassroots

Published 30 September 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry, in a Friday speech to the Global Counterterrorism Ministerial Forum, unveiled a new U.S. initiative to address the root causes of violent extremism. The United States will increase its contribution to the Global Counterterrorism Forum, and create two training centers to help train people in fighting terror attacks: one center — the Center for Excellence in Countering Violent Extremism – is already open in Abu Dhabi, and a second, called the International Institute of Justice and the Rule of Law, will open in Malta next year.

Secretary of State John Kerry, in a Friday speech to the Global Counterterrorism Ministerial Forum, unveiled a new U.S. initiative to address the root causes of violent extremism.

It is fair to say that unspeakable evil still exists in our world. We have to find a way to prevent, to preempt, to act ahead of these kinds of obscenities,” Kerry said.

He denounced recent terrorist attacks, including the massacre in a Nairobi mall by the Somali al-Shabab militants, and Sunday’s double suicide attack on a church in northwest Pakistan which killed eighty-two.

Cowardly attacks like these cannot be allowed to change who we are, or shake our resolve to find peace and justice for all,” Kerry said.

Global Post reports that Kerry announced that the Global Counterterrorism Forum, which the United States established two years ago with the cooperation of other nations, has already raised about $200 million to help train people in fighting terror attacks.

Two training centers are underway, with one already open in Abu Dhabi – called the Center for Excellence in Countering Violent Extremism — and a second, called the International Institute of Justice and the Rule of Law, to open in Malta next year.

Kerry announced the United States would put an additional $30 million into the fund which supports the forum’s activities, and said the Department of State was working to launch a new arm of the forum specifically to address terrorism at grassroots level.

From Kenya to Pakistan from Mali to Yemen the threat that we face is more diffused, centralized, geographically dispersed than ever before,” he said.

Addressing this threat will require every tool in our arsenal, political, economical, diplomatic, military — and perhaps most importantly, the power of our ideas.”

Kerry stressed, however, that “getting this right is not just about taking terrorists off the street, it’s about providing more economic opportunities for marginalized youth at risk of recruitment.”

It’s about challenging the narrative of violence that is used to justify the slaughtering of innocent people.”

For such efforts to be “effective, they’ve got to be driven by local knowledge, they’ve got to be responsive to concerns of local communities,” he told the forum.

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