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U.S. Attorney addresses Somali community's concerns in wake of recent terror arrests

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Minnesota's U.S. attorney and a top FBI official addressed concerns from the Somali-American community in Minneapolis Saturday – the first such meeting since six Twin Cities men were charged with trying to help the Islamic State militant group.

The community has said it condemns terrorism, but is concerned about entrapment in the wake of the recent arrests, which came after the government used a paid informant in the investigation.

“The community is very concerned about entrapment,” Sadik Warfa, an organizer of the town hall-style event, said, according to the Star Tribune. “We don’t want the trust in law enforcement to keep going down, down, down.”

Warfa and others in the community have raised concerns about the Justice Department's pilot program to combat terror recruitment in Minnesota, worrying it singles out the Somali community, MPR News reports.

About 100 members attended Saturday's event, the Star Tribune says, where U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger denied the entrapment accusations, saying: "We don't set people up ... I won't do it, I won't stand for it and it's not something we do," FOX 9 reports.

Luger has said the recent arrests highlight Minnesota's "terror recruiting problem," and he and FBI Special Agent Richard Thornton, who was also at Saturday's event, urged the community to work together to combat terror recruitment, WCCO says.

“I ask you to work together, to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to work with our community, to protect our young people and prevent this from continuing,” Thornton said, WCCO notes.

Four of the six suspects will appear in federal court Tuesday on the charges, WCCO says. The other two suspects, who were arrested in California, are expected to be extradited to the Twin Cities.

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