MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Six men are now charged with conspiring to provide and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
According to the criminal compliant, the men attempted to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.
The complaint names Mohamed Farah, Adnan Farah, Abdirahman Daud, Guled Omar, Hanad Musse and Zacharia Abdurahman. Authorities say they were in contact with another Minnesota man, Abdi Nur, who has worked to recruit Western fighters.
Bob Fletcher is with the Somali Justice Advocacy Center.
“These little cells or groups pop up, and other groups spawn up,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher believes there are other young people in the community that are interested in joining as well.
“Simply speaking there is a sense of disenfranchisement or a sense of a dead end that these kids reach,” he said.
He says sometimes they will do well in school, but not have a job. They want to play sports, too, but their family doesn’t want them to join a team.
“Once you have a peer group of 12 to 15 kids that all subscribe to the same ideology, they feel good about themselves. They develop their sense of self worth and feel they are achieving something,” Fletcher said.
He says most of the kids have had some kind of event in their lives that’s led them to believe America is not the right place for them.
In Europe, Fletcher says ISIS is having an easier time recruiting young people because the unemployment rate is so high. He believes a three-pronged approach is needed: law enforcement, intervention and prevention.
“Success is the best vaccine against terrorism,” he said.
He says it always takes two or three generations for an immigrant community to fully transition, and we need to make sure the next generation succeeds so we won’t have large numbers of young people being radicalized.