MINNEAPOLIS – The nation's largest community of Somalis is on a mission to stamp out recruiting for Syrian extremist groups in Minneapolis after a handful of people left to join militants.
Community leaders and law-enforcement agencies fear the extremists are looking for more recruits.
The anti-jihad work is not unlike efforts to keep young people out of gangs in any number of other U.S. cities. And just like street gangs, militant groups tend to prey on the vulnerable via the Internet or to strike up relationships through small group meetings or one-on-one conversation in parks, mosques or even hospitals.
Terror recruiting is not entirely new: The FBI says more than 22 young Minnesotans have traveled to Somalia since 2007 to take up arms with the al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab.