|Statement of Rep. Keith Ellison on Today’s Homeland Security Committee Hearing on Radicalization, Focusing on al Shabaab|
|July 27, 2011|
Washington, D.C. –“Violent radicalization and domestic terrorism are significant threats to our national security. As the Representative of a Congressional District that is home to the largest Somali community in the United States, I am keenly aware of the threat posed by terrorist organizations such as al Shabaab. As a result, in 2007 I strongly supported The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act.
“However, by stereotyping the broader Somali community, we risk losing the trust of our strongest allies in the fight against violent extremism. Somali-American parents want the same protection for their children that all parents want. Policymakers and law enforcement officials must work in partnership with Somali-Americans to combat terrorist organizations like al Shabaab. My hometown of Minneapolis is a model of successful partnerships between law enforcement and the Somali community and we should learn from them. This hearing threatens to undo vital work done by the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local officials to build trust with the community.”