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FBI’s Ralph Boelter in Minn. Put a Face on Agency in Community

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ralph Boelter, head of the Minneapolis FBI, who headed up a large scale probe into counterterrorism involving local Somalis heading overseas to fight with a terrorist organization, is headed east to Washington to become the agency’s deputy assistant director in charge of counterterrorism, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Boelter told the paper that he plans to apply what he learned in Minneapolis: To fight extremism, the agency needs to establish sincere relationships with the community.

“We had to be able to show people they could trust me, trust us,” Boelter said of the local commuity.

During his tenure, which lasted four years,  young Somali men were sneaking off to fight in their homeland for Al-Shabab, a U.S. designated terrorist organization.

Saeed Fahia, executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, told the Star Tribune that Boelter put a human face on the FBI.

“Now the FBI is a known quantity. It’s not just an acronym. It’s people you know,” she said.


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