U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announces a Justice Department 'patterns and practice' investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department during a news conference at the department's headquarters Sept. 4, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images
By Maya Rhodan
September 15, 2014

The Department of Justice unveiled a sweeping initiative Monday to combat the threat of Americans joining terror networks like the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) in communities across the country.

In a video address released Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the creation of pilot programs bringing local community representatives together with religious leaders and Justice Department officials, in the hope of keeping more Americans from attempting to join terrorist organizations abroad. Hundreds of Americans are suspected to have traveled to the Middle East in attempts to join terror organizations such as ISIS.

The programs are a collaboration between the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center. Through the programs, community groups, local officers, and U.S. attorneys will work to “build a broad network of community partnerships to keep our nation safe,” according to the Department of Justice.

“Ultimately, the pilot programs will enable us to develop and more inclusive ways to build a more just, secure and free society that all Americans deserve,” Holder said. “We must be both innovative and aggressive in combating those who would sow intolerance, division and hate.”

The programs were announced just days after extremists beheaded a British aid worker being held captive by ISIS, just one week following the murder of American journalist Steven Sotloff. President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have condemned the killings, promising to “destroy” ISIS and the threat of extremism.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

Read More From TIME

EDIT POST