Over the past year, CRCL has made a significant effort to increase engagement with Somali-American communities. Experts estimate that there are nearly 100,000 people of Somali ancestry living in the U.S., with the largest concentration the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. At the beginning of 2011, CRCL initiated its first quarterly roundtable in Minneapolis, focused on engaging this largest Somali-American community. To build on the new roundtable, CRCL recently led a joint strategic planning session with Somali community leaders and law enforcement agencies in the Twin Cities area in order to develop a strategy for combating violent extremism and a community policing model that works for both law enforcement and community members.
The day-long session included an awareness briefing led by CRCL and the National Counterterrorism Center, and presentations from DHS, the FBI Minneapolis Field Office, the local U.S. Attorney's Office, the University of Minnesota, the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments, and several local county sheriffs' offices.
The session has already led to formation of a working group to address future law enforcement issues. Moving forward, community leaders and law enforcement agencies will work together to develop a de-radicalization curriculum and a communications vehicle (similar to CRCL's Incident Communication Coordination Team) that will be hosted by the local U.S. Attorney's Office. CRCL will continue to assist the community with these efforts.
By mail or phone:
The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Building 410, Mail Stop #0190
Washington, D.C. 20528
Toll Free: 1-866-644-8360
Toll Free TTY: 1-866-644-8361