TERROR

Minneapolis community guards against extremists who try to recruit young Somalis for jihad

  • In this Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 photo, Abdirizak Bihi, right, executive director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, spends time with kids playing soccer at Currie Park in Minneapolis, near a large Somali community in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. While Bihi strolls through the neighborhood parks, he is on the lookout for anyone who might be trying to recruit the city's young Somalis to join jihad in Syria. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

    In this Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 photo, Abdirizak Bihi, right, executive director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, spends time with kids playing soccer at Currie Park in Minneapolis, near a large Somali community in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. While Bihi strolls through the neighborhood parks, he is on the lookout for anyone who might be trying to recruit the city's young Somalis to join jihad in Syria. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 photo, Abdirizak Bihi, right, executive director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, talks about how kids are approached in local parks in attempts to recruit them to fight in overseas conflicts, at a park in Minneapolis, near a large Somali community in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

    In this Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 photo, Abdirizak Bihi, right, executive director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, talks about how kids are approached in local parks in attempts to recruit them to fight in overseas conflicts, at a park in Minneapolis, near a large Somali community in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 photo, Abdirizak Bihi, right, executive director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, watches kids play basketball at Currie Park in Minneapolis, near a large Somali community in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. While Bihi strolls through the neighborhood parks, he is on the lookout for anyone who might be trying to recruit the city's young Somalis to join jihad in Syria. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

    In this Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 photo, Abdirizak Bihi, right, executive director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, watches kids play basketball at Currie Park in Minneapolis, near a large Somali community in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. While Bihi strolls through the neighborhood parks, he is on the lookout for anyone who might be trying to recruit the city's young Somalis to join jihad in Syria. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)  (The Associated Press)

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.