Minneapolis-St. Paul 1 site of anti-terror program
The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul will participate in a Department of Justice pilot program designed to detect American extremists who are looking to join terror organizations overseas, U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said Tuesday.
Luger announced the Twin Cities' participation during an interview with The Associated Press.
Authorities have said a handful of people have left Minnesota to join militant groups in Syria. At least one man has died while fighting for the Islamic State.
"We all share the same goal," Luger said. "The community wants this recruitment of people to travel to end. We in the federal government want it to end, and local law enforcement wants it to end. The question is: What's the best way to get there?"
He said the solution starts with building trust in the community. Authorities have already been reaching out to members of Minnesota's large Somali community, but this pilot program will bring in more resources from Washington to help solve the problem.
Two other cities will also participate in the pilots, which were announced a day earlier by Attorney General Eric Holder. Those cities have not been publicly named, and Luger declined to disclose them on Tuesday.