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WCCO DEBATE: McFadden plays politics with ISIL and terrorist recruitment

Investment banker Mike McFadden continues to play election year politics with ISIL’s activities abroad and here at home. Sen. Franken has been on top of terrorist recruitment in Minnesota since taking office. Any accusations to the contrary are patently false and an unscrupulous attempt to deceive Minnesotans. The Department of Justice (DOJ) just announced a new program to combat terror recruitment after Sen. Franken pressed them for more resources.

FRANKEN HAS REPEATEDLY PRESSED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS TO ENSURE COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS WERE EFFECTIVE AND THAT THERE WAS REAL COOPERATION BETWEEN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND MINNESOTA’S SOMALI COMMUNITY

September 2009: Franken Thanked FBI Director For Briefings On Terror Recruitment In Minnesota, Inquired How The Bureau Was Doing In Recruiting Agents Who Have Cultural And Language Backgrounds To Improve Those Investigations. [Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/16/09]

March 2011: Franken Questioned Homeland Security Secretary On Whether “There Had Been Real Cooperation From That Community In Minnesota, Including Imams And The Mosques.” [Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/9/11]

March 2011: Franken Said He Had Spoken To The Justice Department About Ensuring There Was Cooperation From Minnesota’s Somali Community. [Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/9/11]

March 2011: Franken Pressed Homeland Security Secretary On Whether She Was Working “To Have A Somali Face On Some Of Our Counterterrorism Efforts In The Somali Community In Minnesota.” [Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/9/11]

March 2011: Franken Confirmed With The FBI Director That Minnesota’s Somali Community Was Cooperating Well With Law Enforcement To Prevent Terror Recruitment. [Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/30/11]

March 2011: Franken Questioned FBI Director About Whether His Agency Was Recruiting Agents From Within Key Communities For Counterterrorism Work.[Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/30/11]

April 2012: Citing The Positive Relationship Between Minnesota’s Somali Community And Law Enforcement When It Comes To Stopping Al-Shabaab Recruiting In The Twin Cities, Franken Said Racial Profiling Undermines The Relationship Between Communities And Law Enforcement. [Judiciary Committee Hearing, 4/17/12]

FRANKEN AND HIS STAFF HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH THE FBI AND OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES ON THE ISSUE OF POTENTIAL ISIS RECRUITMENT IN MINNESOTA AND PRESSING THEM ON HOW THEY’RE USING THE TOOLS AT THEIR DISPOSAL TO PREVENT THAT RECRUITMENT

August 2014: Franken Told KMSP His Office Had Already Been In Contact With The FBI About The Possibility Of Minnesotans Having Perished Fighting Alongside ISIS.During an August 2014 interview with KMSP, Franken, asked about news that up to two Minnesotans had died fighting with ISIS, said his office had been talking to the FBI about the news. He called it “disturbing” that Americans were going to fight with ISIS. [KMSP, 8/30/14]

September 2014: “Franken Urges Department Of Justice To Focus On ISIL Recruiting At Home.” On September 2, Franken wrote Attorney General Holder, expressing his concern about the President’s lack of a strategy regarding ISIS in Syria and told Holder, “We must act diligently and responsibly to prevent Americans from taking up arms with ISIL, or from reentering our country if they do.” [Star Tribune, 9/2/14]

Star Tribune: Franken Called On The Attorney General “To Focus DOJ Efforts Where Terrorism Recruitment May Be Happening.” In his letter to Attorney General Holder Franken said, “The Justice Department, in coordination with other relevant agencies, should use its existing legal authorities to prevent Americans who intend to do serious damage to U.S. national security interests from reaching Syria or returning to the U.S. once they have done so.’” [Star Tribune, 9/2/14]

September 2014: “Franken Said U.S. Officials Need To Closely Track Minnesotans With Ties To ISIS And Arrest Them If They Are Suspected Of Supporting Terrorism.” Franken told Minnesota Public Radio that “any federal authorities should closely scrutinize any who return. The Democratic senator said he hopes to meet soon with FBI officials in Saint Paul for an update on their assessment of the Minnesota-ISIS connection.” Franken added he was hoping to meet with FBI agents in St. Paul to discuss the issue further. “Franken said U.S. officials need to closely track Minnesotans with ties to ISIS and arrest them if they are suspected of supporting terrorism.” [Minnesota Pubic Radio,9/2/14]

September 2014: Franken Met With FBI In St. Paul To Discuss Potential ISIS Recruitment In Minnesota, Said He Had Been Working On This Issue Since He First Came To The Senate. During a September 8 interview with MSNBC, Franken said he had met with the FBI’s Special Agent In Charge in Minnesota to discuss potential ISIS recruitment in Minnesota. He said that the Somali community in Minnesota was cooperating with law enforcement, saying “Believe me, no one is more upset about this than they are, than that community.” Franken added that he had met with FBI shortly after arriving in the Senate to discuss potential recruitment by Al-Shabaab in Minnesota as well. [MSNBC, 9/8/14]

September 2014: After Franken Called For More Resources, Justice Department Announced A New Program To Combat Terror Recruitment. According to the Star Tribune, “The Twin Cities were one of three municipalities in the country that will participate in a pilot program to boost outreach in the Islamic community in effort to combat recruitment of naturalized Americans by the terrorist group ISIL, Department of Justice officials said Wednesday. The pilot project will ‘bring together important Minnesota law enforcement, religious, and community leaders to expand outreach to Minnesotans,’ according to Sen. Al Franken’s office, which has urged the Obama administration to deliver additional resources to Minnesota.” [Star Tribune, 9/17/14]

Bottom Line: Investment banker Mike McFadden is playing election year politics with a very serious issue.

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