Can the FBI recruit your child’s college sport shooting coach to be on the look out for vague signs that your teenage son—an avid shooter, a great coder, and not a fan of certain federal government policies—is becoming a “violent extremist”? Apparently, yes.’
The program is called “Shared Responsibility Committees” and is being rolled out in an undisclosed number of cities across the United States, with the current focus on communities with large Arab- or Muslim-American populations. The SRC’s are the latest federal government policy fetish falling under the larger umbrella of “countering violent extremism” (CVE) programs. The FBI told Politico magazine in March 2016 that SRC’s are designed to identify at-risk individuals before they cross the threshold from talk to violent action.

Arjun Singh Sethi of the Sikh Coalition offered a very different—and more accurate—take on the SRC’s earlier this year. “In practice, SRCs aren’t interventionist at all; they’re simply an effort to expand and entrench the FBI’s growing network of confidential informants in the Muslim-American community. Members of these committees have their own biases, receive little to no training and certainly aren’t equipped to ferret out violent extremism or distinguish between extremism, which is constitutionally protected, and violent extremism, which is punishable under the law. The only thing that is certain is that SRCs will serve as an extension of law enforcement and provide another set of intrusive eyes and ears in an already marginalized community.”