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>> Convicted three Somali Americans in their early 20 for plotting to help Islamic State. Friday verdict sent a Minnesota Federal Court throwing new light on the problem of young Muslims drawn to extremism. The high number of cases here, making Minnesota a test bed for a federal outreach program aimed at containing the threat.
Justice reporter Julia Edwards in Minneapolis. Behind me is the Temple Israel Synagogue in downtown Minneapolis. And inside, the US Attorney Andrew Luger has brought together two communities, the Somali Muslim community, as well as his own Jewish community. As he, himself is a member of this temple. The point of forums like this, that Luger has organized throughout the year is to bring together the Somali Muslim community with the rest of Minneapolis, and to try to build bridges and form relationships with them.
And the hope that they will come to law enforcement, and report any suspicious activity, when members among them may be radicalized. The three convicted Friday, part of a wider ring of ten young men, who the FBI said conspired to join ISIS In between games of basketball at a local mosque.
The ringleader, 20 year old, Abdi Riza Wasabe who has pled guilty, told prosecutors they had watched propaganda videos from the Somali militant group, Al-Shabaab and had sought help from ISIS militants for travel to Syria before bring caught. They wanted to fight for a brutal terrorist organization, kill innocent people, and destroy their own families in the processes.
Outreach may be one answer, but Lugar faces tension trying to be both cop and counselor to the Somali community. Some Somali's particularly Somali youth think that Lugar's efforts are targeted and in some way Islamiphoic. They think that it breeds a bad stigma toward Muslims in Minnesota and that they are automatically framed as potential radicals.
Around 250 Americans have tried to join Islamic State. And FBI director James Comey says the agency has more than 1000 active cases in all 50 states.