MN legislators ask for $2 million to combat terrorist recruitment


State Democrats are calling on the legislature for more money to help combat terrorist recruitment in Minnesota.

House DFL Leader Paul Thissen, Rep. Phyllis Kahn and Rep. Yvonne Selcer are asking for $2 million to go towards investing in community-based programs that work to keep at-risk youths from turning to terrorist groups, an email news release says.

The Twin Cities is home to the largest Somali population in the United States, according to U.S. News, and reports note dozens of young men have left the state to join extremist groups. U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger has even said Minnesota has a "terror recruiting problem."

These incidents prompted state lawmakers to set aside $250,000 to fund anti-recruitment programs last year. That money, along with the federal government and private donations, brings the total funding for Minnesota's Countering Violent Extremism program to $856,000.

But lawmakers say there aren't enough resources to "maximize the potential" of community groups like Ka Joog that work to empower youth through arts and cultural programs. (The U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota has said it would take $5 million annually to successfully fight terror recruitment in the Twin Cities, KSTP reports.)

“We know that these programs are having a positive impact in our community and we should continue that progress," Thissen said in the release. 

That's why they're asking for even more money.

“With our state’s $1 billion surplus, there is no reason we shouldn’t make a commitment to help at risk youth and to improve opportunities for them,” Selcer said in the release. “This is an opportunity for us to work together stop terrorist recruitment in our communities and lift up youth by providing them opportunities to succeed.”

A report released last week, according to MPR News, says the Department of Public Safety still hasn't awarded the $250,000 set aside by lawmakers last year, noting it is still studying the most effective ways to fight terrorist recruiting. The agency did lay out some of its options, read the report here.

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.


Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.


Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.