How Parents and Community Leaders Can Help

A growing number of our nation’s youth are mobilizing to support violent extremist causes around the globe—often without the knowledge of their families. Many teens are leaving home and are often lured overseas, where some have been injured and killed.

It’s the FBI’s top priority to prevent extremist attacks on America. As part of this effort, the FBI has developed the Don’t Be a Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism website to educate teens on the destructive nature and deceptive recruitment strategies of violent extremism. The goal is to teach young people to critically evaluate the radical messaging they come across on the Internet and elsewhere and not become “puppets” who are manipulated and controlled by violent extremists.

The FBI needs need your help. As parents and community leaders, you play an incredibly important role in keeping your children from being radicalized and potentially recruited by violent extremists. You are the first line of defense, the ones who can spot any unusual or suspicious behavior and take steps to act on it. Just as importantly, by your words and example, you create positive role models for young people and promote constructive alternatives to violence.

Please join the FBI and its partners—including the many outstanding community leaders who work with the Bureau on a daily basis—to help address the critical issue of violent extremism.

Specifically, the FBI encourages you to:

  • Thoroughly review this website to learn more about how violent extremism is targeting our nation’s youth;
  • Discuss the dangers and pitfalls of violent extremist ideologies with teens, recommending that they go through the site and ensuring that a trusted adult is available to discuss the materials with them while they use the program or after they have completed it;
  • Teach teens positive and productive ways of resolving differences and conflicts in your community and society overall;
  • Keep the lines of communication open with teens and other children, so that they feel free to talk with you about any subject; and
  • Learn when to report concerns regarding violent extremism to authorities.

The FBI also makes the following resources available for your use in participating in this partnership: