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Minnesota Senator Franken Wants Justice to Focus on ISIS Recruiting at Home

Senator Al Franken

Senator Al Franken (Dem. Minnesota) on Tuesday urged Attorney General Eric Holder to focus U.S. Department of Justice resources on recruitment at home by terror organizations–particularly in Minnesota, the Minnesota StarTribune reported.

The Senator is concerned about the Obama administration’s lack of action, as he wrote in a letter released Tuesday to the Star Tribune:

“I was troubled by the President’s recent suggestion that the Administration has not yet developed a comprehensive strategy to address the growing threat of ISIL’s activities in Syria. As you know, one aspect of that threat is ISIL’s efforts to recruit American and other Western citizens to join its forces.”

Senator Carl Levin and Senator Al Franken tour Afghanistan

The letter was sent in the wake of the second beheading of an American journalist by an the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) executioner.

“One American who went to high school in Minnesota has been confirmed to have been killed in Syria while fighting with ISIS, and others have traveled there to fight with ISIS as well.” Franken’s letter continued. “We must act diligently and responsibly to prevent Americans from taking up arms with ISIS, or from reentering our country if they do.”

Franken urged Holder to focus the DOJ efforts on Minnesota, where terrorism recruitment may be happening, and to prevent travel abroad by those suspected of joining ISIS.

“I understand the challenges posed by Americans who do not declare Syria as their destination and transit through other countries; nevertheless, 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.”

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