Effort in 3 US cities to combat extremism off to slow start


BOSTON (AP) — A federally funded effort to combat extremist recruitment in Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis has been slow to start since it was announced a year and a half ago.

Few local programs have been directly created by the “Countering Violent Extremism” pilot initiative as officials in those cities are just starting to distribute more than $500,000 in Department of Justice grant money to jumpstart new local efforts.

Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Michael Downing says the lack of movement is frustrating.

But supporters, like Brandy Donini-Melanson, with U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz’s office, continue to hope the efforts will bear fruit.

Critics, who worry the programs could amount to spying on Muslims, say they’re staying vigilant, despite the delays.

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