APNewsBreak: Effort to stem homegrown US extremism launches

BOSTON (AP) — A federally backed effort to stem the rise of homegrown extremists is underway in Massachusetts after it was first announced nearly three years ago.

The Associated Press obtained public records showing the state last week selected three local organizations to use $210,000 in money for a federal pilot program.

The organizations are proposing a variety of programs to prevent mostly African, Middle Eastern and Muslim youths from being drawn to extremist groups’ propaganda.

The Somali Development Center received a $63,000 grant. An official there says the local Somali community needs to take preventative steps even though it hasn’t had to grapple with terrorist recruitment like other areas of the country.

Critics complain that focusing on predominantly Muslim communities runs counter to the program’s stated mission of addressing all forms of violent ideology.