Over the last few decades, the Twin Cities have become a magnet for new immigrants. In 1980, only three percent of Minneapolis and Saint Paul residents were foreign-born, compared to 15 percent in the 2010 Census. Many refugees have found a new home in the Twin Cities, including Hmong from Laos and the largest number of Somali immigrants, refugees fleeing famine and civil war in their own country.
This week, in a case that spans several years and at least two continents, Minnesotans will learn the fate of nine Somali immigrants who left the U.S. to fight with Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia. In the wake of this case and the Boston bombing, Americans are re-thinking our understanding of home-grown terrorism.
While Congressman Keith Ellison, Democrat from Minnesota's fifth district, is certainly concerned about recent attacks in Boston and the influence of al-Qaeda-linked groups abroad, as the first Muslim representative elected to Congress, he also cautions against "identifying communities to surveil or to go after," as he told NBC's "Meet the Press" in the wake of the Boston bombings.