Meeting tomorrow seeks to curb recruitment of young Somali men

Teachers, community groups and families will gather Tuesday in Minneapolis to hear how they can prevent the future recruitment of Somali-American youth for so-called "jihadist activities."

Authorities are investigating the disappearances of about 20 Somali-American men from the Twin Cities, and believe the men may have left to join an extremist militia fighting in Somalia's civil war.

Saeed Fahia of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota will lead the presentation. Fahia says the disappearances have alarmed many Somali parents who came to the U.S. to keep their children safe.

"Traditionally in Somalia, you send your child to school, he'll turn up good. You send your child to the mosque, he'll turn up good," Fahia said. "But now parents are concerned: 'What has happened? Who has influenced my child to go back?'"

Fahia says the actions of those roughly 20 men have prompted parents to keep a closer eye on their kids and communicate with them more effectively.

His presentation is just one of several workshops hosted by the Burnsville-based nonprofit Eftin, which aims to address the educational, social and health needs of African refugees and immigrant families and their children.

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