Can a community program help stop homegrown radicals?

The Obama administration is trying to find ways to stop homegrown radicals and is looking outside of government for inspiration.

They're modeling a new program on the International Cultural Center in Maryland. It's the first community-led program to fight violent extremism, reports CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan.

"It's a lot harder today to identify folks who are being radicalized because you can do it in the privacy of your own home right in your room and nobody's around," Montgomery County, Maryland, police chief Tom Manger said.

He said it's what he can't see that worries him the most -- a lone wolf terrorist, inspired online.

"More often than not it's a U.S. citizen that is engaged in the activity," he said.

Now Manger's police department is getting help.

Hedieh Mirahmadi trains parents, principals and pastors to intervene when a young person is on the wrong track.

"It's about using your influence as trusted adults to help somebody before they choose a path of violence," Mirahmadi said.

She said a community-led program is needed to fight radicalization because many Muslims fear being profiled and do not trust law enforcement.

Her goal is to keep the young and vulnerable from being recruited, and there are certain signs she said can raise a red flag.

"Not participating in sports or social activities, extreme isolation or exclusion from mainstream society coupled with a very militant or combative interpretation of religious ideology," she said.

Mirahmadi said risk factors often include political grievances, mental illness and recent conversion to Islam.

She also shows community leaders how to spot online propaganda, like jihadi testimonials of Western fighters promising wives, money and the glory of war.

But Mirahmadi said the hardest to counter are the slickly produced videos from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, often disguised as humanitarian appeals.

"That's a powerful motivator because it appeals to a sense of justice and a sense of helping the downtrodden or the oppressed," she said. "That makes it a lot harder than trying to convince somebody that you know a disgusting act of terrorism is bad."

Mirahmadi's idea has inspired a similar project launched by the Justice Department which is now reaching out to community leaders.

Whether its girls trying to marry jihadis abroad or someone inspired in front of a computer screen, there's a challenge to understand what motivates people who live so far from the fight.