MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Late Thursday afternoon, members of the Somali community in Minneapolis announced a new effort to try to stop the recruitment of terrorists.
It’s a program called “Building Community Resilience.”
Fifteen members of the community — religious leaders, teachers, students and mental health professionals — now make up the Somali American Task Force. Their job is trying to find ways to keep young people from being lured to terror groups.
This pilot program was actually launched by the White House in February and called “Countering Violent Extremism.”
Two other cities besides Minneapolis are involved, Los Angeles and Boston.
Here in the Twin Cities, each Monday evening at 5 p.m., the task force will meet to discuss ideas. Their mission is to be a community-led problem solver.
Still, some in the Somali community are expressing concern and suspicion.
“There are a lot of questions we have,” said Sadik Warfa, of Global Somali Diaspora. “What is this CVE all about? There’s no clear definition of what this program is going to do and who’s going to implement it.”
They feel this new effort has come about too quickly at a time when there is distrust of law enforcement and the U.S. government.
“We don’t have to rush things,” Warfa said. “Let’s take the time to let it run its course. Let the process work itself out, as broad as possible. By having a united front, that’s how we defeat the bad guys.”