The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded $749,828 to the Polarization & Extremism Research & Innovation Lab (PERIL) to make “video inoculation strategies” to prevent teens from veering into “extremism.”
The intended use for the money is to develop “inoculation tactics to create off-ramps from violent extremism” that can be used across the country. The project will specifically target teens and young people that will be selected with a “Whole Community” approach.
The grant is part of the DHS’s Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention program which provides funding “to establish or enhance capabilities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism,” according to its website.
This is the same program which was recently revealed to be targeting conservatives and Christians, prompting public backlash.
PERIL is a program under American University that works to create “evidence-based initiatives to prevent political polarization and violent extremism.” PERIL is closely tied to the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and has a long history of partnership with the organization, including being featured in the SPLC’s recent “Hate and Extremism” report that marked parents’ rights organizations, including Moms for Liberty, as “hate groups.”
Additionally, PERIL’s founding director, Cynthia Miller-Idriss, is a member of an SPLC advisory committee and a current columnist for MSNBC. Miller-Idriss has openly admitted before Congress that she mainly focuses on “the far-right” and believes that the greatest threats to domestic national security are white supremacists and militias.
Since 2021, the SPLC has awarded more than $800,000 to PERIL for research and programs focusing on things like “gun rights rhetoric and narratives” and responses to COVID-19 and the “Far Right.” Currently, PERIL does not list the SPLC as a collaborator for this Homeland Security project.
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