Thursday, February 19, 2015

U.S. Creates Top Post to Discredit Terrorist Propaganda, with Help from "University Students"


WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department on Wednesday announced the creation of a top-level position to “counter violent extremism,” especially the propaganda of the Islamic State, as part of the Barack Obama administration’s strategy to combat the jihadist group.

Rashad Hussain, a former Obama advisor, has been appointed Special Envoy and Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications and he “will lead a staff drawn from a number of U.S. departments and agencies to expand international engagement and partnerships to counter violent extremism and to develop strategic counterterrorism communications around the world,” the State Department said in a statement.

“As part of this role, Special Envoy Hussain will also serve as Coordinator of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications,” which was established at the direction of Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010 “to coordinate, orient, and inform government-wide strategic communications focused on violent extremists and terrorist organizations.”

Since 2010, Hussain “has served as U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC),” a role in which he has worked with the OIC, Muslim-majority countries and civil society “to deepen and expand engagement on U.S. policy and build partnerships with Muslim communities around the world.”

In addition to announcing Hussain’s appointment, the White House on Wednesday confirmed that Washington and the United Arab Emirates will work together to establish a digital communications center to counteract IS propaganda and recruitment efforts.

The State Department will also launch an initiative to encourage “university students” in the United States, Canada, North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Australia and Asia to develop digital content to counteract the messages of violent extremists, the White House said.


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