Through two programs designed to build the capacity of foreign police forces in Bangladesh and Somalia to counter terrorism, the State Department is also helping U.S. police forces keep communities safe in Minnesota and Oregon.
Minnesota, home to the largest Somali community in the United States, has seen more than 20 people leave to join the terrorist group al-Shabaab in Somalia while roughly another dozen traveled to join terrorist groups in Syria. To counter the foreign terrorist fighter threat, Minnesotan police departments are working closely with the Somali Police Force using State Department-funded capacity building programs that have resulted in better working relationships.
Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington and past President of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Hugo McPhee are leading this effort. They have visited Mogadishu and hosted Somali Police Force leadership in the Twin Cities to map ways forward for better cooperation and collaboration between police agencies in Minnesota and Mogadishu.