News Tip: Community Policing, Not Patrols/Profiling, Way to Combat Domestic Terrorism, Expert Says

No evidence entire Muslim-American neighborhoods at risk of radicalizing to violence, says David Schanzer

• Quotes: “Yesterday, presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz responded to the terrorist attacks in Brussels by suggesting that the United States needs to ‘empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.’ Research I have been conducting over the past eight years on Muslim-American communities and their relationship with the police shows that Cruz’s proposal is exactly the wrong way to make America safer,” says David Schanzer, an associate professor of the practice at the Sanford School and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. “There is no evidence that entire Muslim-American neighborhoods are at risk of radicalizing to violence. And ‘patrolling’ neighborhoods will do nothing to identify the small number of individuals who may be attracted to ISIS and inclined to engage in violence.”  “Our research shows that instead police should build trusting relationships with Muslim-Americans so they can work together to build resilience against violent extremism.”  “Our Muslim-American population is far more successful and assimilated than many Muslim communities in Europe. Muslim-American communities are part of the solution, not the problem.”   “Police and communities can work together to educate families about preventing extremism, identifying conduct that should be brought to the attention of the police, and getting appropriate help for young people attracted to ISIS’ culture of violence."  “While there is a threat of ISIS related extremism in the U.S., it is far less severe than the situation in Europe.” “Foreign fighters have flowed from Syria back into Belgium and France; this is not the case in the U.S. Many fewer Americans have made it to Syria and the few that have returned have been arrested.” • Bio:David Schanzer, an associate professor of the practice at the Sanford School and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, studies counterterrorism. He is the co-author of two reports on policing and violent extremism: “Law Enforcement Assessment of  the Violent Extremism Threat” and “The Challenge and Promise of Using Community Policing Strategies to Prevent Violent Extremism.” The reports are based on surveys of law enforcement agencies and interviews with community members in eight cities, and sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, the research branch of the U.S. Department of Justice.  Schanzer’s home page: https://sanford.duke.edu/people/faculty/schanzer-david-h  Website for The Center of Terrorism and Homeland Security: http://sites.duke.edu/tcths/ • Archive video interview: David Schanzer discusses policing and violent extremism  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUbNjfEIdJk • This podcast with Schanzer was recorded on March 22, 2016, in the wake of the attacks in Brussels. https://soundcloud.com/on-security/bombings-of-the-brussels-airport-and-subway-system • Podcast on combatting violent extremism with Schanzer from January 2016.https://soundcloud.com/sanford-school-duke/using-community-policing-to-prevent-violent-extremism • For additional comment, contact David Schanzer at:email schanzer@duke.edu. (He is not available from 3-5:15 p.m. today.)