The White House announced on Sunday that U.S. President Barack Obama plans to convene world leaders in Washington in a security summit with a main agenda to discuss how to best respond to violent extremism.

The announcement was seconded by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder after meeting with high-ranking European officials as they came together in a march to mourn the death of 17 journalists and civilians following the attack of Islamist gunmen at a satirical newspaper office and kosher supermarket in France.

"We will bring together all of our allies to discuss ways in which we can counteract this violent extremism that exists around the world," Holder told reporters following the meeting.

The summit, which is to be held on Feb. 18 at the White House, was announced in light of the recent violence in Paris and the hostage-taking situation at a café in Sydney, Australia. Just last week, the United Nations reported that the extremist group Boko Haram burned down more than a dozen towns and villages in northern Nigeria and fears that as many as 2,000 people died in the blaze while another 7,300 fled their homes.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest says in a statement that it will focus on "domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence."

Earnest also says that representatives from the local governments of Boston, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis-St. Paul will speak about the tactics and strategies they employed to counter violent extremism, which he says relies heavily on "well-informed and resilient local communities." Training of education administrators, mental health professionals, religious leaders, and other social workers, he says, is a key component of local programs.

"At the same time, our partners around the world are actively implementing programs to prevent violent extremism and foreign terrorist fighter recruitment," Earnest says. "The summit will include representatives from a number of partner nations, focusing on the themes of community, engagement, religious leader engagement, and the role of the private sector and tech community.

The Summit on Countering Violent Extremism was first announced last year in September by homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson, who said that the summit was in response to the growing concern about the growing influence of the Islamic State of Iran and Syria, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The summit was supposed to have been held in October but was cancelled for an unknown reason.

Critics of the administration have pointed out that the White House' response to growing pains about domestic radicalization is spotty, with the tide of the government's efforts ebbing and flowing with news events.  

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