FBI agent talks terrorism in Osseo
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, security is a hot topic around the globe, even at the Osseo-Maple Grove American Legion.
FBI agent Kyle Loven addressed terrorism issues at the Osseo-Maple Grove American Legion in a forum hosted by the North Hennepin Area Chamber of Commerce. Loven specifically talked about overseas terror groups recruiting young Somalis in the Twin Cities.
“We want to make certain that we’re protecting the national security interest of the United States,” Loven said. “That’s our primary mission.”
The Twin Cities is a fertile recruiting ground for potential terrorists because of Minnesota’s large Somali population.
“There are a lot of foreign terrorist organizations overseas who have taken aim at Minneapolis.” Loven said. “We are working in concert with the community to try to prevent this.”
Terrorist groups are recruiting young Somalis through Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
“It’s an individual thing,” Loven said. “There’s not a one size fits all when it comes to who is vulnerable to radicalization, but the lack of purpose and disaffection seem to be common themes.”
Somali recruits only a small percentage
Loven says a key thing to remember in the fight against terrorism in the Twin Cities is that not all Somalis are involved. In fact it’s a very small percentage according to the FBI.
“For those who would paint all Somalis as terrorists, that’s simply not the case,” Loven said. “That does not represent the factual situation on the ground.”
Most Somali–Americans are outraged by terror attacks around the globe, said Loven. He added FBI and Somali leaders are working in concert to protect their youth from terror recruiting efforts.
“We have made great strides with respect to the Somalian community with respect to a community outreach standpoint,” Loven said.
Eric Nelson, reporting
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Channel 12 is on Comcast cable in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis and includes the cities Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope, Osseo, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.