The Most Overlooked Resource in Fighting Violent Extremism? Moms.

Counterterrorism Efforts Often Fail to Engage the Families of Aspiring Jihadists, Despite Their Ability and Eagerness to Help

When 19-year-old Akhor Saidakhmetov started hanging out with two older men and talking about waging jihad in Syria, his mother took away his passport. Later, when he begged to get it back—admitting that he wanted to join the Islamic State—she hung up the phone. Mothers like her may be the first, last, and best approach to stopping militant recruiters, but law enforcement often leaves them out of their counterterrorism efforts in the U.S. and Europe.

There are three different approaches a country can take against violent extremism and terrorism: prevention, repression, …

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Your Mother’s Favorite Song

It’s that song that makes her
close her eyes and nod her head,
music sending her back to a time

before she had you, reverie
back to that tight-waist hip-hugger
pants …