The FBI is now referring some potential terror suspects for psychological counseling as part of a new touchy-feely strategy to defeat homegrown Islamic State supporters.
Rather than lock up everyone in the U.S. suspected of potential terrorist activity, the FBI will direct up to 10% of the thousands of people under investigation to the shrink’s couch, where they can rehash the indignities of their childhoods that led them to seek retribution by opening fire on crowds of innocents or blowing up jetliners.
Proponents of the plan told the Wall Street Journal.it will ease the FBI’s investigative burden and provide a possible “off ramp” from radicalization for some of the thousands of people in the U.S. interested in joining ISIS, especially minors.
“Nobody wants to see a 15-year-old kid go to jail if they don’t have to,” an official working on the new plan told the Journal, adding that the FBI will continue monitoring potential suspects that have been referred for counseling, standing ready to arrest them in the event that emotional hugs don’t work.
Some inside federal law enforcement are pushing back against the plan, citing the potentially deadly consequences of misjudging potential suspects.
“I get the principle,” former FBI counterterrorism agent Peter Ahearn is quoted as saying. “But there are a lot of potential problems with this, and I think it’s a wrong move.”
A Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman told reporters that the agency is working closely with the FBI and believes “successful interventions will be ones conducted with the appropriate participation of community leaders, educators, mental health professionals, religious leaders, parents, peers and law enforcement, depending on the specific circumstances.”
DHS is marketing citizenship to immigrants as part of its strategy to fight homegrown terror, betting potential access to shared citizenship rights will dissuade people from linking up with ISIS.
This report, by Rachel Stoltzfoos, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.