Somali groups object to radicalization claim, saying they shouldn’t be singled out

Some people in Alberta’s Somali community are denying claims that young people in the province are being recruited to become fighters for the radical group ISIL.

EDMONTON — Some people in Alberta’s Somali community are denying claims that young people in the province are being recruited to become fighters for the radical group ISIL.

That’s what Mahamad Accord, president of the Edmonton-based Canadian Somali Congress of Western Canada, warned in a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week.

Accord said he has solid sources, including elders, who say youths from the Somali community as young as 16 have signed up to become terrorist soldiers.

But representatives of a coalition of Somali groups gathered Monday to deny those suggestions, saying they are damaging to their community.

Omar Abduhalli of a Somali youth group says some level of radicalization does exist in every community, but he doesn’t believe the Somali community should be singled out without any evidence.

He says they have sent their own letter to Harper to express their concerns.

The extremely violent ISIL insurgency, also known as ISIS, broke out earlier this year, taking control of cities and land in parts of Iraq and Syria.

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