I appear on Russian TV every so often to talk the recent attack that killed 11 and injured more allegedly committed by a young Somali refugee who may have been inspired by IS. Being based in the Twin Cities here in Minnesota, this is the largest groups of Somali Americans outside of Somalia. Also, IS and Al Shabaab have both been extremely successful at targeting young men in this community to work on their behalf. There have been multiple young men who were recently convicted of trying to go to Syria to fight on behalf of IS. This is quite troubling.
The blowback to these attacks in the Somali community here is equally troubling. Because of simplistic and sometimes racist views, the entire community is being targeted. Sadly, this actually exacerbates the problem and makes it even easier for IS to recruit. As a result, Americans, Western Europeans and Russians need to make the distinction between those recruited and those in the community. They are simply not one in the same. This is critical to fighting ISIS and supporting these communities.
This promises to be an interesting conversation.