U.S. attorney, FBI to answer Somali community questions

Istar Abdi, right, a member of the Minneapolis Somali community, right, shakes hands with U.S. Attorney B.Todd Jones, left, after a federal jury in Minneapolis on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 convicted Mahamud Said Omar on all five terrorism-related charges of helping send young men through a terrorist pipeline from Minnesota to Somalia. Abdi, a mom, said she attended the sentencing to get feedback and to hear the jury's verdict. In center is Amal Ibrahim, a Somali interpreter for the trial.

In the first such meeting since six Twin Cities men were charged with trying to join ISIS in Syria, Minnesota’s U.S. attorney and top FBI official will answer questions Saturday from members of the Somali-American community.

Andy Luger, the U.S. attorney, and Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton will appear at a town-hall-style meeting at 3 p.m. at the Phillips Community Center in south Minneapolis.

Organizer Sadik Warfa said the community condemns terrorism but also remains concerned about entrapment in light of the government’s use of a paid informant in its investigation.

“We Somali-Americans must come up with solutions,” Warfa said. “And one of the ways to address it is to build the confidence between law enforcement and the community, and that’s what we’re working on. This Saturday meeting is a process. It will begin the process of hopefully building relationships.”

Warfa’s group, Global Somali Diaspora, was one of dozens that signed a letter expressing opposition to a program to combat extremist recruitment. The program, which focuses on expanded social services in the Somali community, was developed under Luger’s leadership.

A spokesman said Luger won’t be able to talk specifics about the terror case, because that could unfairly influence criminal proceedings.

Source: MPR News+


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