Homeland Security reaches out to Minn. Somalis


This week the Department of Homeland Security launched an outreach effort with Minnesota Somalis. One of the goals of the program's is to prevent radicalization of immigrant groups, according to Minnesota Public Radio:

The department's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is planning to launch a so-called "engagement program" with Somali Americans in Minneapolis. The office has conducted similar outreach efforts with Muslims, Arabs and South Asians across the United States, including Chicago and Los Angeles.

The Minnesota Somali community has received a lot of unwanted press lately in connection with the dozen or so young Somali youth who have disappeared from the area, including a story in Newsweek. The FBI says the men may have gone back to fight in Somalia. Here's more from Minnesota Public Radio:

David Gersten is a top official with that civil-rights office. He said the expansion into Minneapolis has nothing to do with reports of about a dozen missing Somali men. In fact, Gersten said Somali-American community leaders began contacting his office as early as February 2008, several months before the disapperances made news.