Hours after authorities announced charges against six men for allegedly attempting to leave the country to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a Minnesota House panel voted to boost state funding tenfold to combat Somali terrorist recruitment in Minnesota.
During a Monday evening House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, proposed a $250,000 increase to the Department of Public Safety as part of the Omnibus Public Safety Policy and Finance bill. The money will be used to combat the recruitment of Minnesotans to join ISIL and al-Shabaab.
“In light of the recent news that six young men were arrested for planning to join ISIS, this investment couldn’t be timelier,” Kahn said in a statement. “This funding will go a long way in bolstering the collaboration between community groups and government agencies in developing strategies to combat terrorism. Under this bill we’ll be able to better understanding the appeal and recruitment tools used to lure young men into terrorism and develop an effective response so more misguided youth aren’t tricked into becoming terrorists.”
The charges are the latest since ISIL and other terrorism groups have made clear their intent to lure young men from Minnesota—home of the largest Somali population in the country—to fight for their cause.
The issue has caught the attention of federal authorities, who have convened grand juries to investigate. While many have disappeared, others have been sentenced to prison for aiding recruitment efforts.