MN leaders invited to White House summit on deterring extremist violence


Officials from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area will be key participants in an upcoming White House summit to discuss anti-terrorism practices.

The summit, the White House said in a release, will look at federal, state and local efforts to combat violent extremism, and through discussions and panels hope to "better understand, identify, and prevent the cycle of radicalization to violence at home in the United States and abroad."

The Twin Cities (along with Boston and Los Angeles) have "taken the lead," the statement said, in building frameworks that involves pulling in different social leaders – from religious and law enforcement figures, to social service and mental health providers.

So who will be going?

According to WCCO, Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek are slated to attend, as are about 15 members of the Twin Cities Somali community.

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Minnesota has the largest Somali population in the country, and that's led to worry they are being recruited by violent radical groups to go overseas and fight. Last summer, the FBI began investigating local recruitment efforts, after reports of men growing up in Minnesota being killed while fighting for the Islamic State.

On Monday, FOX 9 reported a Minnesota man is featured in a new al Shabab recruiting video.

The White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism is set for Feb. 18.

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