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Report: White House counterterrorism strategy dismantles terrorist networks, stops recruitment

LAS VEGAS - The threat of terrorism and how to fight it is the topic of a 25-page report released by the White House this month.

The report states how counterterrorism isn't just about killing or capturing terrorists; it's also about dismantling terrorist networks and stopping recruitment for their groups, which is tough, considering they have a major tool in the internet that allows them to connect with people.

"We will continue to work with friends and allies to deny radical Islamic terrorists any funding, territory or support, or any means of infiltrating our borders," President Donald Trump said.

According to the National Strategy for Counterterrorism, today's terrorist landscape made up of radical Islamic terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al Qa'ida, along with domestic terrorism, is more fluid and complex than ever.  The more technology advances, the more cyber threats increase.

"In cyber warfare or cyber terrorism, it can affect the entire United States," said Shannon Wilkinson, Axiom Cyber Solutions. "It's kind of like the new arms race if you think about it.  Cybersecurity or cyber is like the new tenant of warfare."

Axiom Cyber Solutions is a Las Vegas-based company that works with businesses and public agencies to help protect them from cyber threats, and at times to respond to them once they've already been hit.

"Cyber is really like the new frontier," Wilkinson said. "They're all nation-state actors from China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Russia, of course, and Ukraine, all trying to break into not only businesses."

Terrorists are also using the internet to recruit. Wilkinson does public outreach at locations like schools.  Her advice on cyber safety continues to evolve, just like the threats do.

"Just being kind of aware if your children are online; what are they doing? Who are they talking to? If they get sucked into one of these schemes where somebody is trying to recruit them overseas," Wilkinson said.

In southern Nevada, funding for counterterrorism has been an issue. 8 News Now recently reported, the federal government sent $5 million to southern Nevada. The year before it was less than $2.9 million.

The challenge is getting that money in Las Vegas since there are other areas with larger populations. But the Las Vegas valley has numerous amounts of events and visitors.
    


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