Work together to stop terrorist recruitment

Somali-Americans from Minnesota have recently been recruited into foreign terrorist organizations.

A federal grand jury in St. Paul is currently investigating who is behind the recruitment of Somali-Americans from Minnesota into foreign terrorist organizations.

Minnesota has long been a site of foreign terrorist recruitment. In 2007, about two dozen Somali men from Minnesota left the United States to join the terrorist organization al-Shabab.

More recently, a Minnesota man became the first American to die while fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. Three Minnesota women, including one from St. Paul, left the U.S. earlier this month and are currently believed to be aiding fighters in Syria. Overall, it is estimated that 100 Americans have joined the insurgents in Iraq and Syria.

Responding to the crisis, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., spoke to Attorney General Eric Holder last week, pressing for more federal involvement in preventing foreign terror recruitment in Minnesota and the rest of the country. Franken expressed concern that the Obama administration has not done enough to stem the tide of recruits leaving the U.S.

Senate candidate Mike McFadden, however, criticized Franken’s actions as being too little, too late. Now, McFadden is urging bipartisan cooperation to prevent terrorist recruitment.

We feel that ending foreign terror recruitment is an issue that stands apart from political parties, and we hope to see more bipartisan efforts to develop feasible preventative measures.

Moreover, we urge the grand jury to work with, not against, the Muslim-American community as it continues to investigate who is responsible for terrorist recruitment.