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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 19, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EST

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and as far as the recovery piece goes, as i said i think countries are still in process of figuring out what they need to do. we are putting ourselves together so that when countries are ready to start rebuilding, that we are there to support it. as far as, i mean, we play, i think what is happening the last two months really shows the important role that we have around immunization but also around strengthen health systems around immunization's, and we are a small piece but i think just kind of going back to what everybody said, around partnership. we will play a certain role in the vaccine process but in order to ensure that it's really getting to people that need it, you know, we will rely on our partners on the ground, along with all of the other folks that are part of this process. >> thank you very much, natasha. there seems be a pretty strong
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consensus among the speakers that future business needs to be done on a different basis. and and that part of this introspection process is looking ahead with that in mind. could we get a little more particular around, a little more concrete into what actually would you see as the essential changes in practices, in coordinating mechanisms, in planning and creating incentives? julie. >> one thing i think we would all agree on is that companies crave predictability. so we would like to have the i confidence that if we start something, we can move it to completion. we would like to have the confidence that, for example, if we have a government partnership, that partnership is
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good for the duration of whatever does we're trying to do and that something is going going to go away with the next election or the next sequestration of the next challenging circumstances in anybody's government. i think that's one aspect of it is come under the confidence that if we're going to make an investment in the partnership, that the partnership can hold. i think we have good examples where that's happened. i think barda has come through on its commitment. and i'm not criticizing anyone. i'm saying that's a necessary component of this. i do think all of us would benefit from a public that is more informed and more reliably informed about why these kinds of investments are important. you just heard we have a pledging conference and people need to commit, governments need to commit, donors need to commit. in order for that to happen public has to understand what is the value proposition that we are creating and why is it important to vaccinate. and what is the benefit that not
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only the children or adolescents are benefiting from immunization in the case of ebola from all the people benefit most to benefit to the people who don't have affordable access, but what is the advantage to the rest of us? i think it's important that we not be shy from the fact that vaccines and vaccinations is an important public health good. sharing the good has become very global and we only, you know, one traveler away from a threat in our own neighborhood if we don't do a good job assuring affordable access to the whole community. i think in terms of how we him develop pipelines of vaccines, one of the heirs opportunity that we're exploring, not just in the context of ebola but for many of the other so-called neglected diseases are hard to find treatments and vaccines for diseases is a pretty competitive collaboration. they are increasingly very interesting places where companies can come together and
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work on projects and bring different ideas together, long before there's a product or a candidate target so that we kind of can share in our own intellectual capabilities but and also partner with the people in academia or other kinds of companies and nonprofit organizations to bring the best ideas forward long before we are targeting a product. and for neglected diseases, it's probably really the only way to him harvest that intellectual competency, and expedite its useful fruition. >> why don't we hear from the other two? we are hearing from industry. >> got the are extremely committed to, there are some very specific ideas about what we should be doing going forward. there are the vaccines that exist.
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but there are those that don't. those that exist i think all the companies have approach is to ensure access. providing that to the community allows for lower prices to be available for access. the challenge actually is how do we incentivize innovation? and a very high-risk investment to go into areas of diseases that may or may not someday come? and the key element as we live through, and every time there was an outbreak, we did. [inaudible] and, frankly, in all the outbreaks that have come or in the next that have occurred, we are very fortunate that none of
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them actually turned out to be one. so we actually don't know whether we are prepared or not, so we need to be careful as a society to be much more prepared, frankly. so the way we look at this is, at least as far as vaccines are concerned, is that vaccines work through what i call -- [inaudible] there is a great technology that can be used to make many different vaccines. and as best we can predict, with reasonable accuracy, which vector, which technology, which platform may be best suited. our recommendation is to create an organization, and exactly how we can organize and how we can
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fund it, is open for debate. but create an organization that is going to identify four, five or six platforms, and prepare them for scaleability, to gain the speed of reaction. and also use them to build that team for predictable possible outbreak. and have those vaccines available, but also when we haven't predicted the scalability is built into the platform so you can go at these really fast. >> so these collaborations would be a new grand collaboration of a kind you're talking about in which different industrial interests would be sharing in this. >> potentially but it can also
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be, frankly, competitive or pre-competitive. they can be between we design and develop a vaccine for ebola and the way you design and develop a vaccine for another disease that's more commercially relevant to sustain the best that takes the risk of innovation like the vaccine industry does. the knowledge you generate from and one cancer or the other. i think there is a need for a concerted effort and an in organization, because the other point is the following. i would like to say the following, if i may. one of the points in this particular situation is if a company didn't care about ebola, nobody talks about it. a there are vaccine companies who are not doing anything for the ebola epidemic but we need to be
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careful that those who actually have made a commitment outside of any form of financial or any otherwise contribution from anybody, to commit the resources to make vaccines, development, manufacturing, make them available, take all the risks, are not those -- [inaudible] i think that's a big piece that we need to do and not forget. because what's very important it is that this type of commitment to public health, to global health has to be sustained in the world we live in. the world we live in, enormous investments are made in r&d, 90% in many cases fail. we need to be able to sustain the innovation engine it. i think we need to have the
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courage of the same time we need to stay in business, and at the same time we will commit outside of any conditions whenever public health needs. that's what the company should do. what you're proposing to do it on a grand scale for many, many more pathogens than we have up till now. >> i think it's an excellent idea that we need a lot more discussion, so that both were quite similar in terms of social possibility of thinking. we do have dedicated public health group which actually is doing r&d on those types of projects. the only thing is you have to be in balance because you just can't afford to have too many of them. certainly when you're looking into working together with a network of partners, big companies or big institutes in
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this area. so i do think that part of the future is there. part of the future, i think reference was made to the resistance is also we need to stop thinking just how -- [inaudible] are being compensated because it's clear with the normal setting, it just does not work. we really need to look into other ways, not to make them expensive, but your effort in some way is being taken into account such that -- -- such that progress can be made. >> i'm going to turn to the audience and then we'll open for questions and comments. rohit, on this question of what needs to change? >> a few thoughts. we recognize the effort the company are making right now and
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we really appreciate that, but if you take the example of gsk is a vaccine, those only acquired because you purchased the company for another vaccine and, unfortunately, this was sort of included in the process. we recognize that. and, of course, a lot of the vaccines, the of the vaccine was to go by the government of candidate, public funding and it is shown activity for the efforts in december was nothing to be done. >> just to take a step back. the big picture about this it would only have one system of innovation today. that's a patent-based system innovation. and that is something which all of these companies have pushed quite aggressively for over the decades to have globalized in the 1990s. so in a sense you own the system of innovation practices which asked for and this is what we have today. that is what we are having to do with everyday in the field. that is one of the symptoms basically the result of a we see with the ebola outbreak today. people can dispute that.
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your companies are still pushing for higher and higher levels of intellectual property protection. in terms of the suggestion to things such as developing partnerships or platforms but this is something that has been introduced now almost 15 years ago. our organizations launched one of the first develop a partnerships in 2000. we still pay for about 25% of its operate in costs. while we don't do so disagree with looking for these solutions to develop technologies for platforms, for us with more of the same. there's a lot of product develop a partnership out there and all we're seeing today is adding more and more of them sort of paper over the cracks or singer system. what we have been doing over the last decade is working at the world health organization to document system and countries in research and development. the w.h.o. has come out with two comprehensive reports on this issue that showed the extent to which our patent system is not
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helping drugs and vaccines and diagnostics learned in developing countries and have developed a range of recommendations to try to break this between innovation and access to ensure we can have the public health of tools we need to respond to emergencies like this and we need everyday problems that we see end up in countries today. there's a range of recommendations that talk about new models of innovation and the outside of the system that seeks to delay the cost of research and development from the product price so we can a to focus on actual public health needs to the public health the goods which is essential what we are doing here today with ebola vaccine for substantial public investments, through procurement mechanisms being put forth by gavi. we are developing these axioms to new models of research and development. we're just doing it through sort of i guess random and stepwise process. a lot of people in industry have been fighting against these new models of research and so because they challenge our existing system of r&d and will continue to advocate for us because we are concerned about the long-term impacts.
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we have seen some success in the vaccine space with the meningitis vaccine was developed or collaboration of procurement of super nationalistic of health of financing with various partners to develop an effective second generation meningitis vaccine at 50 cents a dose. that essentially delinks the cost of r&d from the product price. our concern is the solution for coming out are just more of the same. the united states has completed negotiations of the 10% a partnership agreement at this time that selects its introduced the highest levels of intellectual property protection in the asia-pacific region and around the world and the that will do -- deal with this problem. and and again we do think these new models are not just for ebola, not just for neglected diseases. they can be for very basic things such as animatics. we have the united states saying we cannot rely on this with current models of innovation developed the antibodies we need in our hospitals today we are going to need new models of innovation and substantial new forms of funding. we simply think this can be applied on a much broader scale
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and it's necessary not only for people in the united states but around the world because otherwise we're just going to continue space these problems to we need new ways of thinking but it's not going to be the solution because they are not getting the job done. thank you. >> tony? >> steve, first of all, the comments of my colleagues on the panel are all right on and i agree completely with what people have said. so just maybe make one or two very brief comments that it is in a different it can fully think what they said is probably the most important thing to do things and has to do with something that we continue with sometime, that is the issue of changing in the sense of making sure that we pay attention to something that has been started sometime ago that is recently been crystallized in what has been called the global health security agenda. in other words, to try to develop some sort of infrastructure in the developing world so that when you go in to a country for one reason or
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other you leave some sustainable infrastructure that could be intellectual or mostly intellectual entering so that the countries involved, if we had had some sort of an infrastructure available in guinea, liberia, sierra leone area when the first cases came out, to be able to do the kind of identification and isolation, we may not have had an outbreak as explosive as it was. it's very interesting, we've learned, we've had pepfar since 2003 and pepfar has not only had a major impact on hiv but it has left in country an extraordinary infrastructure of people committed to the health of the nation that has now transcended hiv and a way that involves a variety of other diseases, maternal health, child health, vaccinations for
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individuals, measles programs et cetera. we need to pay attention to that because i have extraordinary respect and admiration for the courageous and amazing things that medecins sans frontieres does, but the cavalry can't keep coming in at every single time because they'll have a limited amount of resources to do that. so we need to start developing some ingrown groups that can do that. the other thing is just, i couldn't help but think when you're talking about, we all said it but i know julie said it right off, that these are surprises that are not surprises. if you want change we've got to get the mindset to realize that outbreaks actually occur but when you're dealing with an infectious disease, you should be expecting them. i couldn't help but think when you were talking, thinking some you may have seen years ago that
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hbo series, a band of brothers come with a one and first airborne was going into vast on as the army was retreating to the guys in the anwar saying, and irregular army were saying why are you going in there? you get surrounded. he looked at the major from the 101st and said, we are paratroopers to we're supposed to be surrounded. so the same thing with infectious diseases, an infectious disease person you should expect there's going to be outbreaks and they shouldn't be surprises. so i will leave you with that. >> very good image. let's open for some comments and questions. we will take three or four at a time. down here in front. please identify yourself, and please be brief. there's a microphone. >> thank you very much. i am the owner of test consultants medical center in nigeria. we were the ones that jumped on the first and the last ebola grenade. thank you.
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[laughter] i wanted to raise the issue that i think is very important, is the issue of stigma. now, i have, i come here because of what lies ahead. in a country of 160 million people, 18 people were infected, 12 were from my hospital. now, eight have survived, and they've been declared that they are at zero, has the antibody but they're still suffering -- suffering from stigma. in a country and in a continent in a zone where 70-90% of the
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people get their health care from the private people, how are we going to be able to introduce this? when right now, the practice is stop the fever. if you have a fever at the gate, you don't come into the hospital. so how are we going to be able to convince them? because i heard the comment about -- it means if you have to really go in there and talk to the people and get to know how to overcome their fears, which we now know is a stigma. >> thank you. >> let's take a few additional comments and questions. right here. >> my name is wayne. i tip my hat to all of you. i think you've done a marvelous
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job from the beginning of this outbreak to testing vaccines and drugs, starting next month is really quite miraculous. one observation that strikes me, given the number of patients and the deaths, if i understood some of the earlier slides, only two drugs are being tested. it seems to me in this country alone there must be many candidate drugs, and i wonder how the funnel got that narrow? >> thank you. the gentleman right behind you there. >> eight years ago the international red cross warned about the development of biological weapons that could target people based on genotype. for instance, race. of the 16 white or yellow people have contracted ebola, all have survived except an elderly spanish priest. all the people died of ebola are
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black. does that mortality distinct and in addition to the off the chart number of infections and deaths that have occurred suggest that u.s. africa ebola variant may be a weaponized version of the virus? >> okay, let's take one other. right here, sir. we will come to you in a moment in the second round. >> thank you. again, i commend the effort. i'm the head of r&d at novavax, a recombinant vaccine company at i think the efforts to mend want to put any -- what you were doing, i think the companies have mobilize in a tremendous way vertically. i would point out that these are vectors, very focus on just the technology, and we go to our limitations. they haven't really worked in other settings. they have pre-existing immunity. they develop very low immunity to the target.
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we have non-human primate data. so i think that's the best, and i believe plan b should be at the forefront for a second kind of vaccine because there is some chance that when we come to phase two and look at this and say i don't is that something we want to push forward in stage three. so i appreciate comments on the long-term plan b sounds like it is being discussed. is there a short-term plan? >> thank you. so we have a question around overcoming fears, stigma, a question around is it only two drugs into public. a question around differentiation between black versus white versus u.s. versus africa population, is this weaponizeable, and the appeal around plan b.
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should it be a formal plan b put forward right now? who would like to jump in and kick off? yes, johan. >> so they don't have a plan for that but people organize these and we need to a lot of the sanctions specific for these aspects which reminds me that we did trials in senegal in the '90s and we really had studied nurses who went into the compounds and actually we took their time to tell you about the vaccine and certainly was not the objective to have that vaccination on that day. so it really takes a lot of time explaining and discussing such you really get to people and get people involved. i do think that socializing the vaccine is an important aspect of all study themes that we need to take into account. >> so we should engage. we shouldn't underestimate how big of a challenge it is.
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there is a stigma of having fever because it could be ebola that has so many implication on the social issue. for instance, if any of the vaccine induces fever, exactly how the community will react to that is something that you really need, you really need to be able to check into so they work hand-in-hand with the local heads of community and investigate to make sure there isn't an unpredictable reaction that can be extremely detrimental to the introduction of the vaccine, or to the conduct of the clinical trial. it is a concern and i think the larger population, the more concerned with the, that the
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-- between events that are not assist with the vaccine and an immunization. so very, very important. very important issue. >> if you study the history of infectious diseases, whether you're talking about smallpox, plague, pandemic flu, it's a history of stigma. it's a complication of the fear that outbreaks engage. so we would be very naïve to think that isn't going to be a major challenge in the situation we're facing here, maybe not worse than it is anywhere else. i remember during sars people didn't eat in chinese restaurants in toronto. even highly educated people are vulnerable to the kind of irrational response to a threat. we know that we don't have an easy solution, but one really important aspect of it, at least in my experience has been finding the local people who are
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trusted and help them understand the whole situation so that they can speak on behalf of their own communities and try to generate a little critical mass of trust at least. >> did you get to complete your thoughts? >> on that, yes. >> but the stigma is also seen in the united states. some of you may have seen one of the television shows they had of all of the ebola survivors, one of the ones i took care of, nina, so i know very well. one of them, i won't mention his name but one of the ebola survivors made a point that is it's very easy for him to get a table at a restaurant now. [laughter] >> so it's not just in nigeria. >> certainly some people may
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have seen in the new some of the treatments of the returning volunteers for doctors without borders back in the united states, which a really big concern for us and certainly we need to encourage people to make the sacrifice. it is important to also a lot of the stuff they're going including some of my colleagues who know only advocacy on other issues, we were working on their local conditions on the ground. these are the resources that i think people don't see in the organizations that are in the field but they're doing their hard work with people in the local community on the front line really trying to communicate what the virus is about, how to respond, how to reduce the stigma. because this is so focus on the medical aspect it loses sight of the fact that is where you can get into the local communities. simply this is not going to be enough. as an organization were doing a lot of ground trials but we're not stopped our urgent calls for more teams and more infrastructure go into the field and not simply for governments
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to offer funding in response to the outbreak. certainly i'm glad there will be a separate discussion on diagnostics because we do think alongside vaccines that we critical for turning around for the future. >> johann? >> i have nothing on that. >> on the question around pipelines of drugs, we were only testing at the outset, talking because of the concern of supply. there are others we're looking at that dr. fauci put up and there are considerations for repurposed drugs. ..
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>> i think the survival of people when you're in intensive care and you're monitoring your electrolytes and you have iv-central lines makes a big difference. i think that just happens to be the distribution of people who are -- [inaudible] >> i think, you know, it's a point i was making last week at the nih which is it's absolutely key that all the vaccine candidates are progressed. we don't know which is the better vaccine, and we don't think we have enough vaccine of any one vaccine urgently enough depending upon how the situation unfolds and evolves. so we need to pursue all of them. and we need to help each other.
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>> thank you. that's a very, very nice way to draw things to a close here. we're at the end of our time. this has been an exceptionally rich and informed discussion. i thank all of you and, natasha, thank you for joining us and walking in on behalf of gabby,topny, julien -- tony, julien, johan, thank you so much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> here's a look at some of the programs you'll find christmas
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day on the c-span networks. holiday festivities start at 10 a.m. eastern with the lighting of the national christmas tree followed by the white house christmas decorations with first lady, michelle obama, and the lighting of the capitol christmas tree. and just after 12:30 p.m., celebrity activists talk about their causes. at eight, supreme court justice samuel alito and former florida governor jeb bush on the bill of rights and the founding fathers. on c-span2, turn to the art of good writing with steve pinker, and at 12:30 jill lepore searches the secret history of wonder woman. author pamela paul talks about her reading habits, and on american history tv on c-span3 at 8 a.m. eastern, the fall of the berlin wall with speeches from prime ministers john kennedy -- from prime ministers john kennedy -- presidents john
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kennedy and ronald reagan. and then at ten former nbc news anchor tom brokaw on his more than 50 years of reporting on world events. that's this christmas day on the c-span networks. for a complete schedule, go to c-span.org. >> the u.s. has special envoys for sudan and south sudan and for israeli/palestinian negotiations among others. the u.s. institute of peace is hosting a discussion today on if using special envoys works in addressing international conflicts and what should be done to bolster the effectiveness of these envoys. it's live at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. a little later one of the most efficient ways to provide health care to military personnel, their families and retirees and how can the coverage be provided in a timely fashion. some of the questions the brookings institution will be asking at a forum today. live coverage on c-span2 at 10
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a.m. eastern. >> now a forum on countering extremism in the u.s. and around the world. the u.n. high commissioner for human rights, prince zeibra,' adal hussein spoke about curbing the flow of fighters for isis. this is an hour and a half. >> i'm patrick clawson at the washington institute for near east policy, and thank you very much for coming today. first order of business, can i ask you to join with me in turning off your cell phone. not just silencing it, but actually turning it off because then it's less likely to interfere with our -- we are
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very pleased today for this policy forum on the battle of isis -- [inaudible] technology at home and abroad. we are going to have an exciting program, and we're starting with remarks from his royal high mis, prince al-hussein, who's going to be joining us by video. so let us start, and then i will introduce our other two speakers who will have some prepared remarks and take questions and answers. so his royal highness is the u.n. high commissioner for human rights. previously he served as jordan's permanent representative to the united nations and ambassador to the united states. and with that, his royal highness. >> thank you so much, dear friends. good afternoon to all of you, and i apologize for not being
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able to make it down to d.c. for this discussion. and, of course, our thoughts are with rob and jenny, and they're watching this on live stream, so i hope to connect with them soon. it's been a couple of years since i spoke to -- [inaudible] and i've always enjoyed the interaction and the exchanges. i hope that you're getting this feed without any interruption, because i seem to hear that the sound is coming and going. so, please, have someone call my assistant, and she'll inform me if this isn't streaming clearly. i thought by beginning, of course, my statements to you, my remarks to you regarding the appalling events that took place this morning. we've all been shaken yet again
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by these horrific attacks not just against civil rans -- civilians, but this time against a school with a large number of casualties being children p even as young as 2 years old. and i find myself almost in a astronaut of permanent outrage -- almost in a state of permanent outrage, so continuous seems to be the stream of horrific events that we see on a daily basis around the world. i have to, first of all, say -- and i've said this before in the u.n. security council and with the media -- that really it's almost irrelevant, distinguishing one group from another from a human rights perspective. whether we talk about boko haram or we talk about isis or isil or we talk about al-nusra, you can continue to name one group after
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the other, of course, including al-qaeda. they're all of the same ideology , and in this case, of course, the attack this morning perpetrated by the taliban. but it shows the same callousness, the same disregard for life, the same rather -- or not just rather, but complete distortion of an understanding of what islam is. and it pains me as the u.n. human rights chief and a muslim to have to see this time and again. not least because what worries me -- and i have, again, spoken publicly about this both in arabic and english -- what pains me is the relative silence of the arab-muslim street in reaction to these events. we see condemnations streaming in from different arab and islamic capitals, but not enough
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in the way of popular demonstrations and popular, presentations of -- expressions of disgust and disapproval. and i think it requires a much deeper sort of analysis than what we often see coming through to us i via the media outlets. so it is clear to us, i think, in the human rights community that tackling these groups militarily or through counterterrorism techniques or by choking off the funding is not enough. i mentioned in the security council nine years ago we had endless discussions about the criminal conduct of sa what caw by and then nine years on we find ourselves in iraq with a
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different group, different name but same ideology. only the situation is much worse. and, of course, the concerns both in iraq and syria are really quite pronounced. we listened very carefully in geneva to the remarks made by the foreign minister of the syrian government, and he was dismissive of the efficacy of the airstrikes. now, this is something that i think has to be studied, because we have learned from other sources that this may well be the case or at least if they were not supplemented by a concerted discussion within the islamic world to confront line by line the thinking of the groups that the results may not be what we hope they would be
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and fall sort of short of where we want them to be. the letter that i have alluded to and that was the summit -- the subject of a discussion between rob and myself, and rob is an old friend, was issued by 126 muslim scholars back in september as a response to the july sermon issued bilal baghdadi finish by al-baghdadi and what i found really quite unfortunate which was this letter that was remarkable in the sense that it was backed by muslim scholars from all over the world. it dealt by each of the points raised in the sermon by rebuttal after rebuttal, followed by
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another rebuttal to each of baghdadi's points, that this received far less in the way of media attention than the decisions to launch airstrikes and take very active military operations. because i felt at the time and still do that this letter needs to be supported and alluded to and spoken about. and referred to by politicians in the islamic world and beyond. not least because if it isn't shown that the islamic world is responding at least from a scholarly angle, then we will continue to see the phenomenon we see in europe and we saw in germany yesterday of the sort of demonstrations basically targeting islam as their religion as opposed to the ideology where the denunciations
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should be properly directed. and so we watch with horror day by day these developments, and we -- all of us, in particular those who occupy positions, senior positions in government or in the international community -- must speak out and speak out forcefully. and particularly in the islamic world we immediate to encourage -- we need to encourage people, ordinary people to understand the gravity of this and to speak out and voice that dissatisfaction if not their complete disgust with what it is that they see. and so i will continue to make these points wherever i can, and i hope others will join me in doing so. it is a complicated world. we find that on, again from a human rights perspective, there's still much to be sort of
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done and much left to be desired in terms of the conduct of many, many number of -- some large number of states in respect of the human rights obligations. but insofar as this discussion is concerned and what measures can be taken and how we confront them ideologically, i think this is a very appropriate discussion to be having, and i thank you for inviting me to take part, and i'd be happy to answer any questions that any of you have. i hope we can conduct a question-and-answer session upon the completion of this short presentation, and i look forward to also at some stage to come and visit all our colleagues and friends. so thank you very much for hosting this event, and i'd be happy to answer any questions if we can, if we can do that.
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>> thank you very much. i hope you can hear us as well as we can hear you. you came through loud and clear. and let me turn to, perhaps, to matt to ask the first question. >> thank you so much for taking the time to join us. we really appreciate it. we're holding this event here in washington in advance of the long-planned white house cve, countering violence extremism, summit which keeps getting postponed but will actually happen. so i was wondering if you might be able to translate some of your comments for american policy. what would you like to see in america or, for that matter, western european policies dealing with these problems of the five lines of effort dealing with isil. one of them is cve. what are some of the thicks you would like to -- things you would like to see from western governments as part of their policies to deal with these
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issues in tandem with seeing greater muslim and arab statements dealing with the ideology and in tandem with seeing greater media coverage of statements? the letter, for example, from september. >> no, it's a good question, matt. i mean, i think the starting point is recognizing that there is a tip that binds all -- a tissue that binds all these groups together. and in the past it was referred to as sort of a jihadist philosophy, but it doesn't quite convey who these people are. and i think if you were to isolate tech fearism ideology which is this pernicious way of thinking, very narrow and extreme in the way that they view the world, then i think we can begin to sort of create the right framework for a discussion. because if it's left sort of fairly vague and it's as if every group has its own ideology, it's not quite the
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same as saying, no, the ideology is uniform. it's just that they call themselves different things. i think it's ap an approach which would yield better results not least because it will prevent at least the most populist-inclined politician particularly in europe of stirring and whipping up anti-islamic sentiment against migrants or immigrants living in europe and elsewhere. and i think the dangers of overreaction only feed the cause as they see it on the part of the -- [inaudible] what they have done and i have, again, spoken about this quite clearly in the security council, is they've cleverly seized upon this aspiration that many non-tech feehery muslims hold for a caliphate or --
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[inaudible] and by weaving it in with the extreme way of thinking, they have created a little bit of a juggernaut. i mean, it's interesting to note that fallujah was occupied by isis a year ago now, and it's still under the control of isis. so the -- it has resilience. the other thing that, of course, we've all begun to notice is that they're learning how to govern in certain places. they're being responsive to the needs of certain parts of the community. so it's not, it's not blanket terror. it is terror in many respects and certainly if you're yazidi, you live in fear of your life, for your life every minute of the day. but they're learning the art of governance which will add to
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their resilience. and so a multi-pronged complex response is required. and not just believing that through bomb and gun and bank you can solve this particular set of problems. >> hi. thank you. i wanted to touch on the point you mentioned about the fatwa with the 152 other scholars. what do you -- in the united states we've always asked that the ideological portion of this problem be left to the muslim community, so what do you think the muslim -- [inaudible] these voices of mainstream scholars that are trying to speak out against isis but don't really have a very large platform? so we've asked for the united states and other governments to stay out of this issue, but hen that kind of leave -- but then
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that kind of leaves no platform for them. do you have any suggestions for how those voices can be heard? >> yeah. i think it's incumbent on the media to do this. i mean, it is shocking the way many of the media outlets would prefer to the sort of show, you know, rockets raining down on a particular location rather than focus on also this other front which is very much needed. and so, again, when the letter was issued -- this letter by 126 scholars -- i saw two or three sort of newspapers in the western world note that the letter had been issued, and i felt that there should have been much more coverage and that those analysts who work for these large networks should also sort of think about this and should understand what is required and the nuance required
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here. again, you know, i go back to the point that i made earlier. al-zawahiri was decapitating people nine years ago in iraq, and after the fatwa and the measures taken by the u.s. and others, of course, they were rolled back. but they come back with a vengeance, and so the point has to be made that it's not simply through the criminal justice system or through military means that this can be done. and so, yes, you're absolutely right, perhaps it's not the role for the u.s. government or other governments in the west to sort of take up the battle, but -- the ideological battle, so to speak, but at least the international, the major international media outlets could shed some light on this. and i think this is, this is the point to be made. i find it odd when i spoke in
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the u.n. security council, i started speaking in, my statement in arabic because i wanted to convey the contempts of the letter -- contents of the letter in arabic, and it was carried live by the arab satellite channels. what was interesting was that after that i had a press conference, and the western press were largely not that interested in the contents of what i had to say when i left the security council. now, subsequently there was some sort of reporting of it. but i think this sort of, this tendency to almost -- and i wouldn't want to be that critical by calling it sort of rather simplistic, but the tendency to focus on sort of action, so to speak, rather than what may seem to be a drier method is perhaps where the problem lies. but i think all the interviews
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that i have had subsequent to that discussion in the security council i have raised the point time and again, and i hope others will do as well. >> could you discuss a little how we conduct the battle of ideas against isolated individuals, mostly in the west, who seem to be attracted to some of the ideas of these tack feeherys as some of these gentlemen seem not to stable, such as the gentleman in sydney yesterday. but what are the best ways for us to conduct battle ideas against these people who seem to be being radicalized mostly on their own through their contacts through the internet rather than through necessarily their contacts with other individuals in their communities? >> yeah, it's a very interesting problem. you know, we do need to think about this very deeply. when i had a conversation recently with the high commissioner for refugees, my
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colleague and counterpart and friend ann tone you gutierrez -- antonio e gutierrez, he was saying it's clear that many who go to the conflict area in syria and iraq really know very little about the ideology. but they see it as a vehicle for violent protests. they find that the traditional vehicles in europe are no longer there. they're angry young men, and they perhaps have been brought up in a culture of violent video gaming. and for them this is an outlet. and so when you embroider all of this together, it looks really very grim, indeed. and also we have a world which, you know, still stumbles around when it comes to accountability for the worst of crimings. we all denounce these crimes, we all call them disgusting and
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distressing, and yet we don't see very much in the way of an effort toened the -- to end the impunity that exists for them. i can say this as an individual member of the security council representing my own country that there is a sense in one way that we are overexposed now to blood and killing whether it be on youtube or whether it be in the press. and you become deadened. you become absolutely numb. and i can tell you when you sit through these briefings and you're told what isis are doing or what's going on in syria or the al-nusra group, after a while it's almost like being a first-year medical student
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dealing with your first cadaver. you are sickened, perhaps, by the smell of the formaldehyde, second or third day you get quite used to it. and the dangerous thing is that our publics are sort of getting used to it. the extreme now, which is a public decapitation shown on youtube, evokes a reaction or the killing of, you know, scores of children evokes a reaction. but the odd killing here or there, the odd bombing here or there, we've become so used to it. so the public doesn't really react in the way you'd expect them to react. we've become too scattered in the way we've been bombarded by information. the way information reaches us. and so we need a sort of deeper thought. ness if we're -- thoughtfulness if we're going to confront all that we see.
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but anecdotally just the number of times my office has to brief the security council on gross human rights violations, it is troubling. we feel almost that we're hurtling towards something the exact contours of which we don't yet quite recognize in terms of a global emergency. and so we're, we feel we're behind the curve. we're trying to catch up, and we need to be far more nimble and far more decisive in understanding what the issue is and then how to deal with it. the other day i was talking to a colleague here representing our office in afghanistan, and notwithstanding the attempts by many not least many very brave afghans, you know, the problems are still breathtakingly huge. and that can be said for other countries where the international community has made the concerted attempts at trying to stabilize the situations there. and finally, if you'd just allow
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me one more point, matt, you know, we've become very good at ending conflicts in many parts of the world. we sort of know how to end a conflict in a certain dimension. but what we're not good at is ending conflicts permanently. and here because we don't understand what is required, what the algorithm is that we must basically employ when you try and end a conflict, that it's not simply throwing cement at the problem or training the military or training the police or training local officials, you know, clerks and administrative staff. we need much more than that. we need to understand the sort of the collective psychology of the people, the history, the disparate narratives. and even when you -- and only when you carefully consider these items can you then develop an algorithm whereby before you have reconciliation, you have
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deep reckoning. otherwise you're just, you know, floating around from are one crisis to another and seemingly scratching our heads all the time wondering where did we go wrong and how do we get it right? so i think a complex response is required. >> very good. questions from the audience, please? and let's start in the back there. >> yeah. >> please identify yourself first. >> my name's mary carak. you were talking about, you know, the international community is good at stopping conflict. i don't know, i look at what we've done with libya and iraq, and a lot of people want to do with syria which i think will end up being another basketcase, and then you mentioned training in the military. for over ten years we've been trying to train their military, and it seems to be going nowhere because i don't think their militaryies to be trained.
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they had a military before back in the '80s when they were fighting against iran -- >> i urge your question, please? >> well, i don't have specifically a question, i guess, maybe it's more of a statement. >> okay, thanks very much for your remarks. [laughter] and next question, please. right here in front. >> thank you. bill brennan from the university of maryland. so i think everybody in this room would agree that we need to focus and understand and address tack firly ideology as a huge sort of sort of ongoing conflict in multiple regions throughout the muslim world. but one looked -- looks at the rise of isil, and it seems to me it's a response to the sectarian tension that rose after the arab spring at a geopolitical level and they're simply utilizing
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that sectarian tension effectively. i'm wondering where would you rank sectarian, the threat of a global sort of sectarian conflict compared to the threat of tick firly ideology, and is one worth addressing before the other or at least allocating more resources towards than the other? >> it's an excellent question. i had a meeting about nine months ago with the world bank, and we were discussing various conflicts around the world. and they said to me, you know, in syria it really does look that you don't, you won't have any winners at the end. and i said, no, you know, there's always a winner in conflict. there's always a winner. and as brecht showed us in "mother courage and her children," the winner is the war profiteer. and the amount of money that's generated in many of these
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conflict areas is enormous through the smuggling of weapons and fuel and what have you. and so clearly you have a space where if will had been rule of law institutions that collapse and by definition then that space is to be occupied by the criminal group or the extremist with very clear sort of narrow world view of the world, and the two can often be conjoined which often -- which is happening, of course, in the case of syria and could be happening in the case of iraq as well. and so you have this confluence of money, space and extremist thought. although, again, at the foot soldier level, i mean, what we've seen is it's been quite a fluid situation. you may have scientists fighting with al-nusra that will cross
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over and fight for isis because they pay better, then they switch back because the terms of employment are better with al-nusra than with isis. so it's also sort of a fluid market like that. but there's no doubting that instability then is exploited by one group or another, and the better organized and the simplistic, the more simplistic the message yet woven cleverly in with a general aspiration that most muslims or many muslims would have, it's very clever. and not to be underestimated, of course. >> i know we promised that we'd let you go by 1:00, but i'm hoping i can speak in one last question if that's all right, your highness. >> yeah. >> all right. so right up here in front, please. >> [inaudible] from the embassy of bahrain. my question to you, sir, is while all these people, particularly the youth are, you know, essentially sold on this idea for caliphate and think
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that they will end up, want their calling to reach this process but once reaching it, realized this is not what they signed up for and want to go back. but by going back, they'll face prosecution. so my question is what can governments do, essentially, to focus on deradicalization programs? and more importantly, how to use these individuals that return, you know, dissatisfied with what they went for, using them as mediator rather than throwing them in jail? >> yeah. it's an excellent, excellent question, and, i mean, i think you've hit both points on the head. basically, there has to be programs in place for those who may have joined the ranks but themselves not having committed any crimes, at least clear that they haven't. they may have had logistical roles or administrative roles. and whether they can then be
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used to speak to youth in the countries of origin -- i shouldn't say sending countries, it's, of course, a term of art. in the countries of origin, i think, would be a very clever way to address this. but it's, it's clear that we have to think broadly and in a way that makes sense. there is also discussion in new york as yet sort of quite informal that a number of the countries of origin are parties to the international criminal court, and shouldn't there be a sort of joint referral almost of all the nationals who hail from those countries so that the court has some jurisdiction over those actions? and so those who have been involved clearly have been involved and have been photographed committing crimes, for instance, with multiple eyewitness testimonies, that there is accountability in store
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at some stage for a actions that they've perpetrated. but i think your point is a very good one, and that needs to be considered very carefully. >> well, thank you very much, your royal highness. we appreciate your presence very much, and we look forward to seeing you here again at the washington institute. so -- >> thank you so much. good luck. thank you so much. bye-bye. [applause] thank you. >> now we'll transition to the second part of our program which is remarks by our panelists here. first we'll have some remarks from math knew leavitt who is the former wexler fellow and director -- >> the meeting has ended. >> -- on counterintelligence at the washington institute and has been very involved in these issues, the battle of ideas and countering violet extremism -- violent extremism. always gallivanting across the world with, being asked to speak at various places, testify in
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various situations. and then we will hear from hedieh who was an expert on community-based counterradicalization programming. we had the pleasure of having her as an adjunct fellow at the washington institute for a while, and she's the president of word which is an association dedicated to strengthening moderate muslim institutions worldwide. so first matt, and i'm hoping he'll start out by highlighting some of the washington institute's recent work on these issues. >> well, i will now. [laughter] after my boss talks about my gallivanting. [laughter] first of all, let me thank everyone more coming. this is the latest in an ongoing series of counterterrorism lecture series. i was very, or very pleased even though he was unable to join us in person that prince ra' ad was
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able to join us this way and take questions. i have been gallivanting around the world. it's true. as patrick and my wife keep telling me. but it's for good purposes. the most recent was this past week in rome where i gave a keynote talk on the issue of foreign fighters at the global counterterrorism forum meeting on the subject which was proceeding this week's meeting which is going on right now at the principal level in marrakesh. and my friend from bahrain, your questions are exactly what we spent two days talking about in rome and what they're talking about in marrakesh right now. in fact, let me make this all the more clear. first of all, we're worried about all these returnees. we are talking about more foreign fighters than all of the otherjihadi conflicts we've seen in the past combined. we are nowhere near a point of seeing a plateau, so it's not
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just that we've surpassed that numbers, we're nowhere near done. the number of countries that people have come from is beyond anything we've seen before, upwards of 80. people put it at 84 right now, but the exact number iser relevant, including countries you never, ever would have thought. we're only talking right now about the sunni side, by way. there is a whole, entire shia foreign legion that's being created. that's another thing for another time. and one of the things we do have to consider is what to do with returnees, those who return, those who want to return, how do you assess what people are dangerous? do you want to be the poor guy who interviews this individual and is forced to assess, oh, i'm pretty sure, i'm pretty sure that this person is not going to do something here, at least today. because none of us have the capability of running surveillance on these individuals 24/7. life is not like in the movies and on tv. so what do we do then? first of all, in the first
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instance there's a big debate. should we be telling people you come home, you will be put in jail automatically? does that discourage people from coming home? on the other hand, by the way, at least in the united states and several other european countries, we can't prosecute everybody who comes home. the united states, the biggest tool we have at our disposal is the material support statute which only applies to people who fight with designated terrorist entities. and in the case of syria and iraq right now, that only applies to al-qaeda, al-nusra and isis. if you're fighting with any of the other dozens of groups including in a battle alongside al-nusra but technically as if wearing a sign around your chest saying -- [inaudible] there's nothing we can do. and that's if we know. our intelligence, all of our intelligence on the ground right now in syria is not what we would like it to be and, guess what? our adversaries are soon, if not already, getting smart, and they're going to stop doing the
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19-year-old selfie thing posing with a headband or gun that shows, no, despite the fact that you're coming back with a letter saying i worked for a charity, in fact, you were doing something militant. so there's lots of good ideas in terms of exit programs. but, for example, can that be mandatory? can you force people to do that? these are very, very difficult questions, and i'll be very, very honest. here in the united states -- and that's what hedieh and i want to transition to now in this part of the program, i believe there's a tremendous amount of work to be done. we don't really do countering violent extremism particularly well in the truest sent of the world domestically -- word domestically. not for lack of interest, but simply because of the way we are structured. there's a lot of concern that there's problems at the federal -- legal problems at the federal level instructing state and locals how to do their business. legitimate legal concerns. establishment clause. freedom of expression.
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these are extraordinarily important things that define who we are, and they also complicate our ability to get into the weeds in terms of dealing with ideas. government should not be getting involved in a religious debate. we're no where near capable on that. we have orrs in terms of -- we have others in terms of ngos, groups like word that you'll hear about in a minute that are doing phenomenal work but, frankly, word is the exception and is, hopefully, about to serve as a national model because it's such an exception. but i won't steal your thunder. i'll leave that to to you. and so we need to think carefully about what it is we want to be doing here. what is the work that we're doing here? well, right now most of the work we're doing here is about outreach the communities. and that's important. don't put that down one little bit. it's extraordinarily important to have healthy relationships with communities including
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muslim communities, and it's important to put that in the plural. there's no one single muslim community in this or any other country. but it is not enough. at a national, at a federal level there is a community awareness briefing, the c.a.b. that the national counterterrorism center has put together. officials travel the country, and they meet with communities, and part of their dialogue is to give this evolving because of events powerpoint. i wouldn't doubt it if as of yesterday it has something in it about sydney. to be able to explain to communities how we see the threat. it is primarily about the threat from radical islamist extremism as we heard, but not only. those are not the only threats that we face. and this is a very important part of the dialogue. when you're dealing with immigrant communities in general of whatever religious or ethnic persuasion, many come from places in the world where having a relationship with law enforcement or intelligence is anathema, right? you don't welcome that relationship because in many
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places in the world where people are coming from that debt can't be good. and understanding that here it can be good and is good is something that has to be taught and learned and a relationship that has to be earned. so it's great to do that. if that's all we are doing, we are doomed to tremendous and very fast and painful failure. one of the things that we are least comfortable about is having a discussion about ideology. and one of the reasons we have that discomfort, it's not just because of freedom of expression, it's not just because of the establishment clause, it's also because we are uncomfortable with the idea that ideas may lead to dangerous behaviors. we're uncomfortable, and that's why we don't talk about counterradicalization anymore. which, to my mind, is an hour late and a dollar short if they're already violent extremists. and the reason it's so uncomfortable here in the united states is that unlike, say, our
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counterparts in the united kingdom, we don't have a federal level department of community and local government. we don't have truly a home office as they do. and so by default our cve, owrks hves, counterrering violent extremism, that whole side of our effort is, by default, housed within law enforcement which is a big problem. finish i say that with all the -- i say that with all the love and respect for law enforcement and as someone who is former fbi. i don't want fbi or other law enforcement to be thought police in this country. and if someone is not responsible for moving the needle earlier in the process, not waiting til someone is a violent extremist, not waiting til something happens or is about to happen, but moving the needle earlier in the process to identify people who are at risk, who are at risk of having that cognitive opening to radical
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ideas, who are being presented with radical ideas and maybe not being presented with other ideas that might fill that space when they have the cognitive opening that can happen for any of a million reasons because of domestic issues, because of foreign policy issues, what have you, then we're not doing cve. cve, to me, counterradicalization to me is getting involved earlier in the process and helping someone who might be along a path that leads to danger, helping them along another path. and we don't have enough programs like it. i think we only have one that really works, and you're about to hear about it in some detail. we also have a problem that we don't have enough funding for those programs that do exist. there are three big pilot programs that have been started around the country, run out of the u.s. attorneys' offices as cve is now run in this country. they are in boston, minneapolis and in l.a. that's great. but the problem we are having is that there has not yet been a
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sufficient finance, money invested in it so when people tell me, matt, i'm telling you there's tremendous attention to this at the highest levels of government, what i say is show me the money. that's when i'll know that people are really interested and invested in this, the fact that someone's willing to have a conversation about it in and of itself doesn't impress me. and aside from having the funding, we also need to make sure that there is sufficient programming. these three payment programs are a good -- pilot programs are a good start. they need to be focused and a risk-based analysis on where the greatest threats are. and without pointing to any particular religion, the fact of the matter is there's radicalism all over the place, but the global insurgency we're facing, the reason, frankly, there's any interest and attention to this whatsoever in government is because of events having to do with al-qaeda, isil in
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particular. let's be very, very blunt, this is something that goes in waves n. 2009 the institute wrote a report, bipartisan report, that got a lot of attention. it's available on washingtoninstitute.org. you should read it. unfortunately, a great percentage of it is still very, very applicable. the next year we decided to do a follow-up report, also bipartisan but a much smarter group, fighting the ideological battle to highlight the need to deal with the ideological issue. again, available at washingtoninstitute.org. still very, very applicable. we need to be able to have these conversations on ground. you have to have programming that not only reaches out to communities, but addresses the ideological issues that are at the heart of what we're dealing with. there's also, to be perfectly blunt, a major policy component to this. that dhs and nctc and local and state law enforcement don't have any play in determining its outcome. and that is, frankly, our policy towards what's happening in the
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region and towards syria in particular. and here allow me to be very, very blunt. isis alone is not our problem. isis is a very critical part of the problem, to be sure. but it is not the sum total of our problem. i happen to think that a new authorization for use of military force is a very, very good idea. but i also happen to think one that is limited to isis is an incredibly poor idea, because the problem is not isis alone. and when it comes to violet extremism, assad is at least as much of a problem. so long as assad remains in power, he will serve as a magnet for foreign fighters. we have, on top of that, what i describe as a sunni problem. not a problem with sunnis, but a problem with the way sunnis perceive us and our attitudes and our commitment. commitment goes back to the issue of what we did and didn't do when the president issued a red line over the chemical weapons, and i understand les a big debate over that, but the
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issue is perception makes a difference. the larger issue is this: for a long time we said we were not going to get involved militarily in this conflict despite the fact that at a time tens of thousands, now, of course, it's well over 200,000, vast majority of them sunnis, were butchered. women systemically raped, etc. eventually, we said, we might get involved militarily, but only to protect our diplomats in baghdad and i will. --er bill. then we said -- irbil. then we said we may also do something to protect minorities, yazidis and others. that's great, but the message to our sunni friends was if we do get involved to protect people, it won't be to protect you, and that ooh's a problem. -- that's a problem. so over the past year and a half as i've been gallivanting meeting with intelligence officials, there's been one theme especially before iraq
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became what it is now. and that was that one of the reasons people were going wasn't for some offensive jihad, it wasn't necessarily then, though it's increasingly now for some ideology. it was for many then and for some still now a defensive effort to protect fellow sunnis. and why are you going? they would ask these individuals who returned? because you haven't, washington. paris. canberra. and that is a very, very dangerous phenomenon. and i think that this has to be a better marriage. not only between improved programming at home to deal with the radicalization process before it becomes violent extremism, it has to be married up with improved, i think, actual policy and certainly articulation and explanation of what our policies might be. one of the reasons this is so important, marrying these two,
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is that because of events on the ground, the nature of how things translate at home has changed. i'll give you an example. our last counterterrorism event we had rob bear tolely, the director general speaking at this very podium, only a lot taller than me. he pointed out to their newly-released report which is available online in multiple languages, declassified online, were one of the points he highlighted was the shrinking space at home in the netherlands. and having just opinion to the gctf meeting in rome, seeing this around world. the shrinking space between political salafists or as they called them in the netherlands -- [inaudible] salafists and salafi jihadis. once upon a time, he noted, many people -- though i contested it at the time -- many people felt one of the most effective ways
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to deal with the jihadis who really want to engage in violence is to enlist the salafis who have just as dangerous extremist ideas, but they're not actually looking to kill you right now. they can't do that anymore, the dutch point out, even if you thought it was a good idea in the first place, which i would contest. why can't you do it today? because the space between them has shrunk. so many people are going to fight in syria, so many people are going to fight in their own minds, true or not, perception is what matters to establish a caliphate that many of these political salafi groups are no longer saying, no, you can't go do that because this is legitimate. and there is an increasing overlap in that venn diagram of space where it's not just the salafi jihadis who are saying you should go and fight, but even if -- but some of the political salafis and even though they aren't saying you should, almost all of them are being quiet and not contesting it. which means the nature of our problems at home are getting
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more complicated still. at the end of the day, what that means is that we need better programming at home. i live here in the united states. the fact that the united states of america does really creative programming on cve abroad is great. but it doesn't give me any greater comfort for my four sons. so we need a lot more work going on here. and with that, i'd like to introduce hedieh mirahmadi who i believe has the most developed program and model for that type of work as yet in the united states. [applause] >> such a tough act to follow. what am i going to say after that? thank you, matt, and thank you, patrick, thank you to the washington institute for hosting me. it's always a pleasure being here, it feels like home. i just wanted to, i want to bring in this back to the community level and talk about how isis and the conflict in
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syria is affecting us here at home. and i want to do it from a little bit of a historical perspective, because i think it's important to realize that the effect that isis is having here is, in a way, way beyond anything we ever saw for al-qaeda or any of the other jihadist recruitments. it was the a much more extreme indock try anyization that happened with al-qaeda that we're not seeing with isis because for al-qaeda they had to convince people that they were, that the west was a mortal enemy, that they were going to the use these brutal, inhumane tactics and a warped sense of islamic principles. but the isis message is different. and, again, i'm referring to their propaganda, not our portrayal of what they say on the news. so according to their propaganda, they're building this utopian society. they're saving muslims from the hand of a regime that's slaughtering its own citizens or
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severely oppressing them in iraq. they portray themselves as a legally valid and justified leader of a functioning state. the internet, if you take the time to watch some of these propaganda videos -- oh, i've watched way too many of them -- [laughter] but the isis militants are coming in and saving the day. they have clips, very long clips, 20 minute clips about court appearances very similar to judge judy where they show these adjudications for people who have been living without laws for years. they adjudicate marital disputes, inheritance, property rights, and they portray this for the rest of the world to watch. you want to know why they're recruiting so many young girls, three girls in denver, the girls in the u.k., germany, i encourage you to watch some of these videos. some of these guys are really handsome. so they -- [laughter] so they come across as these strong and righteous heroes who help little old ladies cross the street, taking food out of
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dumpsters, and they hand them money and resources and then telling the camera, look at the way our people are being treated. this old lady's eating out of a trash can. so this is a very romantic myth. they're not telling people come and bomb a marketplace with babies in it. they're telling people come and join this you i taupe ya. so what -- utopia. so what do we do? how at the grassroots level and from an ideological perspective do we debunk this romanticized myth that they portray? as the prince mentioned, the need for islamic scholars to refute their arguments. and some people, i know, they discredit this. they say, oh, a lot of people are not listening to these scholars. if you look at a video put out about this, there was 250,000 hits on that video. that's not insignificant. so these messages are important, and for the most important reason they are inoculating the middle. they are taking the kids that are on the fence or on the edge or on the edge or even in the middle saying to them, hey, look, don't -- if you get any
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ideas about this, you know, this version of the caliphate that they're talking about, let me tell you what the truth is. and so i want to tell you some of these arguments because i'm happy to say these rebuttals and these debunking of the to isis narrative by these scholars has been done for the first time. so in the past occasionally you got qaradawi and others giving a fatwa and then rejoking the fatwa -- revoking the fatwa if it's in israel versus iraq. but now we're seeing very strong statements broadcasts all over the world and with the help of social media, being seen by thousands of individuals. so the first one as i mentioned is yousef. and it was, i guess, so popular that isis actually did a rebuttal video against his video. but he talks about the fact that the isis are -- [inaudible] and they are this group that the prophet muhammad foretold about people that would be very eloquent in islam, that would
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pray -- and that even their prayer and their fasting would make people, other muslims, envious but that they were brutal heretics, and if you joined them, you would be a heretic along with them. ..
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where people are saying there is a dichotomy between doing the killing and defending the people and the sunnis being oppressed and saying this is a fight you should have no part in because again it's nothing but confusion and dangerous deviation. then there's the reference over 100 scholars that signed on and he denounces them on a plethora of legal grounds everything from the rules of jihad to the mercy of islamic jurisprudence and also a number of conditions for why isis is the legitimate and nobody should be helping to defend them. these are powerful themes by very influential scholars but the thing is they need to be told about her and have a
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platform to people involved are able to hear this message. the community level my organization -- we run an intervention program and i would like to see this as a prevention program. we never get tired of acronyms in washington. it's run in partnership with county county stakeholders, health and human services, school, county government and an initiative under the county executive office and we are trying to help young people and vulnerable people before they are indoctrinated in this space issue of the war in syria israel. for example of one of young people are not familiar on the concept of an extrajudicial killing that even in islam where
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they believe there is an eye for an eye you can't just call somebody that has harmed you. i'm not sure if this comes from a cultural tradition or tribal understanding that there is a strong sense that revenge is in trouble part of islam and it's much its much more complete it within a. they also do with illegal to travel to syria so it's not just getting a plane ticket. it isn't broadcast enough that you cannot go over to syria and fight. many of them are sad to see the images. they want to pray for the killing to stop the torture they do if it doesn't. what if the massacre continues or the persecution of the sunnis in iraq continue. what do they do with a feeling of powerlessness and hopelessness? many of them have problems with
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authority they don't respect their parents or school teachers and then how do you inculcate important values when there is a complete lack of respect. so our coalition takes a range of issues that may be presented and try to use self exploration techniques and motivational interviewing to get to the root of why they have these behaviors and try to steer them to responsible choices and try to empower them with nonviolent skills like media, songwriting, being there for the peer is that the peers that are feeling sad, depressed, angry, violent in their everyday understanding of what it means to be a pure mentor and advocacy skills. we try to help them feel they can overcome powerlessness or hopelessness and so as you can
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imagine it's important to get at these issues. how do we stop the recruitment and matt mentioned a couple important points and as i mentioned for debunking the myth , there is an issue whether the government should get involved in ideology and i absolutely respect that we do not want them into which version of islam that they can do things to empower the voices that are speaking out against isis publicizing the material into giving them the tools to get the message out in a more effective way. we need to develop some kind of counter movement but there it originates in the east or the midwest that motivates people what islam does stand for so not just what it does and stand for but what islam does stand for
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upholding the legacy in fairness and mercy and contending social justice were demonstrating good character. so for preventing or counting violent extremism there needs to be funding for the community-based programs. we are lucky to have funding from the executives who believed in the program early on, but i think it's important that they be federal pakistan to the level explaining why these partnerships are important and again making sure they are partnerships to the community has an active role in the intervention especially when they are in the ideological space. for those of us to do intervention we need clear guidelines. there need to be guidelines about what the national security exemptions are in the healthcare medical law and what is an imminent threat of harm because
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he may understand in terms of the tendencies but what does that it mean and violent extremism space and that's something me and my clinicians grapple with every day so we need to better directives between community law enforcement and hopefully more directives to the board of education that will trickle down to the states so they know they should also be designing programs that prevent the population as it relates to violent extremism. i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> let's start with the audience questions please. the gentleman right here.
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thank you very much for your comments -- please identify yourself. >> with the university of maryland i want to direct my question on the one hand we have those discussing the notion of these traditional narratives and then on the programs that are cutting-edge and attempting to deal with the actual ideas that need to be disabused that is to say what is it that makes these people know they can't legally travel to serious and so on and so forth so there needs to be a gap between the theological community as it were and those that were trying to operationalize. they are trying to work with
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potential recruits. it's affecting the older kids and adults interested in the justification before they go. there's a vulnerability there is a vulnerability so our model is trying to address the multitude of risk factors for ideology and have clustered that there's also these other political grievances, sociological factors from a, psychological factors and economic factors so we see them as clusters of risk factors for what i see is they also have a host of the other factors.
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about to your point there be enough about the conferences i am starting to see a trickle of the mainstream scholars come to the united united states in a way that i haven't seen before. there are a number of what we call roadshows happening now in the united states and we just need more of them. i know they came a month ago and people were surprised by the comments he made because he was forceful in his condemnations and those that just welcome activities. as to make biscuits to the point having to engage in activities across the spectrum. you only deal with the islamic concepts. if you do all the other things and don't do with those also not enough because we are different people, different factors are going to be more prominent.
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one of the problems we have been having for a long time and i'm going to say it again although there is always one person in the audience that gets angry but so be it. the problem isn't islam for a lot of these kids there isn't enough just to say they don't understand their religion enough especially in the converts but they don't actually understand these ideas and there is a gap driven by the explanations that drive people to go but they don't have enough knowledge base about what these concepts mean so teaching someone arithmetic to be able to display the get quite a basic map but not being able to have a conversation because they missed a medium if we don't engage about the ideological concerns, we are going to fail. if that's all we do, we are going to fail. >> what kind of message do we
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want to bring to these people? they want to move to the mainstream society and mainstream political system. but if they are going to be holding extreme political views and despise people that are different from them so long as they don't use violence that's okay. what kind of message are we going to bring. is it going to become part of the american mainstream or tell them what it's okay to hate christians and jews but just don't go out and kill them.
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>> if no jihad until tuesday and its about delay because we are in the the west end until the treaty is broken there is no jihad and i don't think that is a healthy perspective. for us we are trying to give them the skills to allow them to be participants and feel in power because a lot of them have other issues going on and they feel alienated and disaffected in and the way the system is treating them for a variety of reasons either they came as refugees with her parents were out of work or what they've been taught in sunday school. whatever the case may be. i believe at least the focus for us is to help make them into better people come into better people and that isn't just no jihad until tuesday. >> is the case but the truth is
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also there are steps. the first has to be walking off the edge of the cliff. one of the things we haven't discussed is the radicalizing factors that have been around for a long time continue to be there. the problem of the identity of the conferences that i've been attending and one of the themes that comes up country after country is that the vast majority of people who've gone to fight for really bad reasons are from broken homes, so it's a younger demographic. but a lot of it has to do with as you said, people that don't have a respect for authority. there are issues in the house and do something about the jihadi pool and there is something about the sensible longing and empowerment that so
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much more volatile in the sectarian issue because whatever happens in this region one thing to guarantee we will be talking about two decades from now the repercussions i feel is happening right now. >> i'm wondering how you do your partnerships and i'm wondering what county executive or talking about so maybe you can mention that. it do you bring families in the center of some of the work in the schools and then in another aspect it seems to me is not just working with the muslim kids put into context with the
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non-muslim kids because the first thing is when the muslim kids feel totally excluded into isolated. >> sorry i didn't going to do it in greater detail. a lot of people hurt my explanation. it is a montgomery county executive and what we are famous for is the fact that it is not muslim centric. it is all of community model because we'd be leaving is like an early warning system we are not trying to stigmatize especially since a lot of the recent instances are converts so they've gone up in a house that didn't practice the song. our model is all about having a community that understands what the risk factors are. and as i mentioned the multitude and then deciding how are they
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going to intervene into talking about how we make sure that we provide assistance before they turn to violence. that's why we are not paid the radicalization program. >> we want to get it right now when you can have a much better impact. the shrunken window of the radicalization everywhere this is what people are talking about this model in the past someone would've would have to go over a period of time it is yesterday's model.
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we are talking about a week and a half to two weeks in some cases. people also traveled and one of the biggest problems it's not happening in mosques where the bookshop or subculture. it's happening online. and the social media phenomena is tremendous. perhaps -- in many ways but i will highlight just to. this is a two-way conversation. it's not just a one-way conversation. and you can literally talk to someone who came from your neighborhood. what is it like you and by and by the way what type of north face jacket should i bring if i go.
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being either you been the test it's now completely open. it's twitter and facebook and some very popular russian platforms etc. that has made it available in all kinds of ways and what tends to happen is that we are talking past each other. so, we look at the nasty beheading videos isis put out there and people concerned about being radicalized and we are not even talking to each other so on the one hand it's wonderful people are paying attention to this issue again but unfortunately because things are so bad. it's one of the five lines of operation against isis. that's great but if you look at the testimony by the u.s. officials talking about this and you look eagerly for what are they pointing to and what are we
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doing now in the context of this incredible problem that is our big answer blacks it is some good stuff. counter strategic messaging. that is great. it's interesting and productive package. if that is the only thing we have to put forward, that can't be the package, it can be part of the package but to me it's part of the talking package. the demographics that we need to be reaching or not paying any attention or very little if you want to be generous. >> i was heartened by what you mentioned but i'm still very pessimistic because these are
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voices in the arab world not the only kind of jihadi but also the muslim brotherhood and at some point when you want to counter systematically you hit the institutions. so in the pessimistic about that. so my question is here in the united states are we seeing the development of other facts of the islamic ideologies in the united states are we seeing this emerge that would come down there and if so how did you sustain something like this and where does this get funding from if it's coming to sustain the other kind of ideologies are resorting to have the islam and if so how do you separate the american islam? >> i think that we are seeing
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trying to take a more positive role in this and i think that whether it was under his officially sponsored and i think that there is an effort albeit small there is an effort to try to promote a more moderate theology and like i said i think somebody's paying for these. i can't figure out who is paying for them but i think it is important to have that connection to the international figures. there is an incredible amount of deference paid to these international scholars. they have weighed in the muslim community and the american islam. we have scholars that are developing a following and i
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don't know if it is an american islam or a version of traditional islam adopted for america to think that story is yet to be written that there seems to be a true and his influence as well, and i think that his firm i'm not as certain but it also seems to be a big part because i think that people see it as the countermovement because it involves music and it is basically a response and it has a much more colorful and artful interest oracle significance they are utilizing. >> way in the back.
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>> the homeland security investigations. since we are on the subject i want to throw this question out how bad do you see the fallout of the radicalization as was the procured teenage to recruitment for these organizations with the release of the reports if you can comment on that a little bit >> there's been some interesting stuff out there already especially in social media in some ways how little of this is played in the region. don't get me wrong i'm not trying to put a colorful spin on this it's going to be complicated but people expect
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this is going to happen. other countries are not coming forward with the report. if we can investigate ourselves this way and to do it publicly and airborne tree and fight it out, this is what we are about. this is a wonderful need for propaganda there is no question, so is sydney. i don't think this is to be quite a successful peace because at the end of the day and a bigger discussion is that we are coming clean.
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anybody can read this report and i think that says a lot. >> how do you measure the success and what you are doing and do you have established the tracks? >> very important. we are like here comes the metrics question. our program is run under a health care system so we do follow the rules but we also are able as a consequence to do the valuation assessment of the clients so we are able to use
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developmental scales badly have in measuring the violins and other psychological studies and we do oppose the assessments that way and we also have developed a questionnaire that is the result of research we do in the university of maryland and questions that that we also ask the clients to measure the risk factors that they may be vulnerable to and then again before we discharge them we do another assessment to see how they've moved and for us, that is a way of demonstrating that we have a demonstrated risk factor and the reduced its risk factors and so this is all dependent on our framework that we use and so we base the risk factors on that framework and i'm happy to share more of that with you but that's the way we measure the metrics. >> one of the reasons it's
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important to do this at the local level is because this type of ingenuity and creativity can happen and work their. i'm referring to the fact that the federal level we have had a lot of hard time getting the social positive face of government involved and invested when the conversation started, people came and said listen i default you are going to house law enforcement because you can't as the british and others put it you cannot securitize this relationship. you have to have the positive phase of government whether it is in the community engagement or other activities. you don't want the fbi agent meeting with you one day and then being involved in some illnesses or illegal conduct and in the first instance we got some volume. now there is a lot of pushback and now you have the hhs produce
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education in some instances pushing back and saying we don't want to get involved because we don't want you to securitize our relationship into double only get fixed at the highest level and here's how the federal agencies and departments are going to function. the fbi can only ask nicely. at the end of the day for these programs to work effectively at the federal level even just in terms of directing federal monies tapping into typical programs where there is a whole radice focused which for example after we realized the extent of the problem many people didn't
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do basic financial literacy. these are things that can be very effective and you do them because they need to be done. guess it will also benefit from the perspective and we have to make the social positive face of government are comfortable in getting more involved in that the federal level and at the federal level and it is a program that is working because that is how it is structured. >> when we do the training for the police, they tell us this looks very much like the gang prevention model so they recognized the same system in which you tackle these kind of issues and so for us it would be so much easier if that expertise came to bear on this problem in other words the programs we've done and the research

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