Obama Issues New Counterterrorism Communications Plan

President Obama issued new guidance aimed at countering communications strategies used by al Qaeda to recruit operatives. The executive order, which the White House released two days before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, calls on the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications to monitor and evaluate extremist organizations and rebut messages that pose a threat to the United States or its allies. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will establish a steering committee that the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy will chair. The Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs will have a seat at the committee’s table. The committee will meet at least biannually. Other organizations with senior representation on the panel will include the Homeland Security Department, Justice Department, Treasury Department, National Counterterrorism Center, CIA Counterterrorism Center, Broadcast Board of Governors, and Agency for International Development.