Sheriff of MN County with the Largest US Somalian Population Worried They’ll Aid Al-Shabab

Hennepin County contains Minneapolis, where  a man was convicted earlier this year for lying to a grand jury when he testified he didn’t know two men who had returned to Somalia to join al-Shabab.

Supporters of two Somali women scheduled to be sentenced for helping a terrorist group gather outside the Hennepin County Government Center on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Minneapolis. Nine people being sentenced this week in the government's long-running investigations into terror recruiting and financing, including Adarus Abdulle Ali. (MPR Photo/Brandt Williams)
Supporters of two Somali women scheduled to be sentenced for helping a terrorist group gather outside the Hennepin County Government Center on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Minneapolis. Nine people being sentenced this week in the government’s long-running investigations into terror recruiting and financing, including Adarus Abdulle Ali. (MPR Photo/Brandt Williams)

In the wake of the Westgate attacks, Hennepin County’s sheriff is worried about his jurisdiction’s large Somali population, as he told the House Homeland Security Committee yesterday.

Sheriff of Hennepin County testifying at the House Homeland Security Committee
Sheriff of Hennepin County testifying at the House Homeland Security Committee

The sheriff of the county with the largest Somali population in the United States called for federal support to counter recruitment by the Somalia-based terrorist group al Shabaab during a House hearing Oct. 9.

Sheriff Richard Stanek of Hennepin County, Minn., told the House Homeland Security Committee that the sheriff’s office would benefit from access to classified federal databases. “This will allow us to connect the dots in real time between local law enforcement sensitive information and classified data,” he said.

He also requested that county officers who serve on the FBI’s Minneapolis Joint Terrorism Task Force be allowed to maintain their security clearances when they return to the sheriff’s office. (excerpt from: Concern over al Shabaab recruiting in the United States )

And here’s a video of Hennepin County’s first Somali deputy.

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