TV show about jihadi recruitment, based in Minnesota, in the works


A new TV show set in Minnesota is in development.

The Hollywood Reporter says the show is about jihdai recruitment, and will let viewers witness "the highly impenetrable world" of the practice.

The project is called "The Recruiters," and will be written and directed by rapper/artist K’naan Warsame, Entertainment Weekly says. Warsame, who is Somali, may be best known for the song "Wavin' Flag," which was used during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Helping develop the project is Kathryn Bigelow, the Oscar-winning director behind "Zero Dark Thirty" and "The Hurt Locker."

Auditions are apparently happening in the Toronto area, according to Warsame's social media.

Terrorist recruitment in Minnesota

Minnesota has a “terror recruiting problem,” is how U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger put it in April.

In the last decade or so, at least 22 young Somali men left Minnesota to join the terror group al-Shabab in Somali, reports note.

In September, a government task force published a report looking at the cases of 58 individuals who left the U.S. to fight with Islamist militant groups overseas. It found 15 of those people came from Minnesota, the highest amount from any state. (Those numbers only come from a sample size, though, as the number of American foreign fighters is thought to be in the hundreds, the report says.)

It's a concern for the local Somali community as well (Minnesota has the largest Somali population in the U.S.), with murmurs of young men leaving and little way to verify what happened to them.

Locally, a man named Mohamed Ahmed has been using cartoons to dissuade youths from joining the Islamic State. He publishes the videos on his website, Average Mohamed, and has been showing them at mosques, youth organizations and even in the homes of Somali families where a member has joined an extremist group.

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL-Minneapolis, spoke with the Star Tribune earlier this year about curbing terror recruitment efforts in Minnesota, saying it’s worrisome that despite local and national efforts, Somali-Americans are still heading overseas to fight someone they don’t know.

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