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Somali Youth Discuss Radicalization At Forum

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(credit: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images)

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The imam of a central Ohio mosque says the area’s Somali community has tried to prevent radicalization among its younger members in recent years.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Imam Mohamed Hassan spoke Friday during a forum involving Somali youth and law enforcement. They talked about crime and radicalization among Somali youth and ways to prevent problems.

Somali leaders in Ohio and nationally have long been concerned that too many disenfranchised Somali boys leave school and join gangs or in some cases are recruited by overseas terrorist groups.

Hassan said reports that roughly 20 Somali men may have left Minnesota a few years ago to possibly fight with an extremist group in Somalia prompted the Somali community in Ohio to try to make sure the same thing didn’t happen there.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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