DOJ Guidance on Online Activities to Counter Violent Extremism

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February 24, 2017

In an undated document, the Department of Justice released a two-page guidance on permissible forms of communication with members of listed terrorist groups that are intended to turn them away from violance. The guidance document notes that "The Government's position on this is issue clear: the material support statutes do not prohibit legitimate, independent efforts to counter violent extremism." It notes that the "Department of Justice has never prosecuted an individual or group for a legitimate effort to persuade others not to engage in violence..."  The full text of the document is available here.  The guidance was issued after the Obama administration's 2011 release of a national strategy titled Empowering Local Partners To Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.