John Kelly, just hours before accepting the role of chief of staff in President Donald Trump’s White House, announced the resignation of a key Department of Homeland Security holdover from Barack Obama days — a man named George Selim.
What’s significant about Selim is that he served for three different administrations — he was a lifer, an entrenched bureaucrat, with solid and substantial connections. So the fact that he’s finally been removed is significant in itself.
But it’s Selim’s role within DHS that is most note-worthy. Selim served as the head of the now-defunct Countering Violent Extremism unit, a program that provided federal support for Islamic groups that promised to turn Muslim migrants and refugees away from lives of terror and jihad.
This was an Obama dream-come-true. And Kelly killed it when he took over DHS — but Selim still stayed.
The main problem with the program, of course, is that it didn’t really work.
It proved a drain on taxpayer dollars. But more importantly, it proved a government stamped shelter for radical Islamic groups that simply wanted to use their platform to demand more and more concessions from the government.
Bluntly put: CVE was a pure example of cultural jihad in America. And Selim served basically as Obama’s jihad policy chief.
Well, now he’s gone. And thank goodness.
Breitbart has more of the story:
George Selim headed the now-defunct CVE program which tried to offer federal support and legal autonomy to Islamic political groups if they redirected Islamic immigrants and youths away from Islamic militancy and jihad. His resignation spotlighted Kelly’s decision to replace Obama’s failed policy with more direct government involvement in Islamic communities. …
In December 2015, Selim, then the new director of the Office for Community Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security, outlined the Obama CVE strategy when he told NPR that Muslim communities were not identifying emerging jihadis:
The research and the statistics have all indicated that peers, people that are in close association with subjects that ultimately commit an act like this, see something that’s a little bit out of the norm, but they don’t necessarily report it. And so part of our goal is to create the type of partnerships in which peers know when and how to elevate those type of suspicions…
We realized that central governments aren’t necessarily best placed to prevent and intervene in the process of radicalization. It’s, in fact, local actors that are, in fact, best placed on this. What we saw earlier in this year in the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism is three cities – Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis – who are pioneering prevention programs on countering violent extremism in three different ways – the local demographics, the local municipal officials and religious leaders.
The CVE plan failed, in large part, because immigrant Islamic political activists kept raising their demands in negotiations with Obama’s deputies. For example, some Islamic advocates demanded the FBI stay out of Muslim neighborhoods. Many activists also refused to admit the role of Islamic texts in motivating Islamic believers to launch Islamic jihad attacks, despite the repeated use of Islamic texts by U.S-based Islamic clerics to urge Islamic attacks. …
The failure of Obama’s CVE strategy was brutally highlighted by the December 2015 jihad massacre in San Bernardino and the June 2016 mass-murder jihad at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In both attacks, the killers were part of the local Islamic community, which did not alert Americans to the growing danger. The same inaction was spotlighted by the September 2016 pressure-cooker jihad bomb attacks in New Jersey.
Kelly, while secretary of DHS, had pretty much ignored Obama’s CVE program and Selim’s role with it. Instead, he shifted funds from CVE to other police programs in DHS.