Outside the State Office Building in St. Paul, a group of young men were snapping group selfies and smiling broadly. It was pure excitement as the Somali-Americans took a big step into American civics. They are with the group Ka Joog, and they had come to the Capitol to seek state funding for a vital cause — keeping the tug of foreign terror groups out of reach.
After an expected one million people demonstrated in Paris Sunday in a show of national unity against terror, it’s important to remember that terrorist groups are trying to recruit young, disenfranchised people in Minnesota.
A Somali youth group wants more than $4 million in state funding for workforce training, arts initiatives and after-school programs to fight international terrorist recruitment across Minnesota.
For several months, U.S. Attorney Andy Luger has been meeting with members of Minnesota’s large Somali community, and listening to their concerns.
President Barack Obama did not mention in his Wednesday night address the recruitment of Minnesotans by ISIS (or ISIL). There are reports that as many as 15 young men and women with Minnesota ties have left to join the terror group.
Douglas McCain was not the first Minnesotan radicalized and recruited to fight in a foreign land. In recent years, Minnesota has become a place where terrorist organizations recruit young people to fight jihad.
A local theater is seeking the public’s help in finding a man who broke into their offices and stole computers and equipment. On May 31, a man broke into the Southern Theater at 1420 Washington Avenue in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
Al-Shabab uses Internet videos to convince Minnesota men to come back to Somalia. But now, a Somali youth group is fighting back with a documentary of their own.
A member of a Somali-American youth group in Minnesota says the federal government should fund programs to prevent youth from being recruited into terrorist groups. Mohamed Farah is president of Ka Joog, a Somali youth group in Minnesota.
The FBI is investigating to see if Minnesotans and Americans were involved in the terrorist attack at a Kenya mall. But so far FBI Agent Kyle Loven said there is no specific evidence that Minnesotans were part of the attack.
Thousands of people are expected to flock to Minneapolis on Sunday for this year’s Somali Independence Day festival. Organizers say the event is designed to celebrate Somalia’s independence, and also pay homage to the United States — the country that gave refugees a chance at a new life.
With a burgeoning population of Somali-American families settling in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota, it’s only natural to expect cultural clashes and growing pains. But few expected the attraction of so many Somali boys and men to get drawn into the strife back in their homeland.