CAIR Minnesota                                             About Us           Multimedia          CAIR PSAs


Stay Connected!


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


View our profile on LinkedIn

2013 American Bar Association Pro Bono Difference Maker Award
 VIDEO: 2013 MN Philanthropy Partners 'Nonprofit to Know'
2013 MN Philanthropy Partners 'Nonprofit to Know'

2012 CAIR Chapter of the Year 
CAIR-MN: Nonprofit Mission & Excellence Anti-Racism Award Recipient
2011 Nonprofit Mission & Excellence Anti-Racism Award


Oppose Fearmongering Law Enforcement Trainers

CAIR-MN unequivocally condemns terrorism and terrorist organizations, including Al Shabab. Any action that harms innocent civilians is reprehensible and deserves condemnation. CAIR-MN condemns terrorism whenever it happens, wherever it happens, and whoever commits it.


A controversial law enforcement training on terrorism is being offered in Minnesota for POST credits on November 21, 2013. The training is organized by former Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, who allegedly "exaggerated or falsified" his investigation of domestic and international terrorism threats in the east metro.

SEE: Fletcher Defends Terror Probe (Star Tribune)

SEE ALSO: Training Flyer


Terrorism is a real threat to our nation and law enforcement needs to be educated about that threat. However, law enforcement agencies must look at the credentials and backgrounds of purported "experts" on terrorism before allowing their departments to be trained by them.


Unqualified trainers and fearmongers influence the way peace officers perceive and treat the American Muslim community, leading to a rise in racial and religious profiling. Reports have highlighted law enforcement's use of biased experts and anti-Muslim training materials nationwide. The United States Congress has scrutinized these practices.


SEE: Congress Grills FBI Chief About Anti-Islam Trainings

Fletcher announced that his co-presenters for the training include:

Omar Jamal

Abdirizak Bihi

Mohammed Farah

Michael Rozin

Jeff Weyers

Gary Olding


Michael Rozin, "formally of the Israeli Defense Forces, trained at the Israeli Security Academy," was featured in an NPR story on racial and religious profiling at the Mall of America.

SEE:  Shoppers Entangled In War On Terrorism (NPR) 


Omar Jamal, a convicted felon, has made unsubstantiated, hate-inspired statements, such as referring to Minneapolis as a "slaughterhouse for immigrants."

SEE: When Somalis are in the news so is Omar Jamal (MPR)

Similarly, the Pioneer Press reported that Bihi has had run-ins with the law, including a restraining order for "threatening and stalking" a woman and DWIs. In March 2011, there was an "active warrant for his arrest for violating the terms of his probation."



Seminar organizer and key trainer, former Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, is referred to by City Pages as "Ramsey County's most controversial cop."


In 2011, a Star Tribune article stated that "Ramsey County's new sheriff is suggesting that his predecessor [Bob Fletcher] exaggerated or falsified his investigation of domestic and international terrorism threats in the east metro."


SEE: Fletcher Defends Terror Probe (Star Tribune)


In an interview with the Twin Cities Daily Planet, a spokesman for the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office stated that Fletcher's claims that Ramsey County residents were threatened by 22 domestic and 11 international terrorist groups "came from an active imagination" and that the Terrorism Information Briefs "never existed."


City Pages stated that "Fletcher's office apparently dreamed up the whole idea that his jurisdiction was under threat from dozens of domestic and international terrorism groups" and that "the research was done by staffers cruising the internet and watching CNN." It further states: "It's hardly the first time Fletcher and his office have been at the center of controversy. Some of his department's handiwork was employed in the run-up to the 2008 Republican National Convention, when he directed preemptive raids against Twin Cities activists who later became known as the RNC 8. Two years after they were arrested in the guns-drawn raid, the cases against them fizzled."


SEE: Meet Bob Fletcher: Ramsey County's Most Controversial Cop (City Pages)


Those 33 Terrorist Groups in Ramsey County? It Was "A Very Big Lie" (Twin Cities Daily Planet)


Bob Fletcher, Former Ramsey County Sheriff, Fictionalized Terrorism Reports (City Pages) 


Fletcher has organized controversial trainings for law enforcement in the past. Concerned community members contacted CAIR-MN about these trainings because they felt the trainings did not distinguish between terrorists and mainstream Muslims and Somalis. The training flyer referred to the terrorist organization Al Shabaab as an "Islamic" organization. It included pictures of Somali men with AK-47s on it with the headline, "Understanding the People of Somalia."


In November 2011, more than 30 Twin Cities Somali and Muslim organizations challenged the credibility of the seminar in Minneapolis. Several police departments across the state declined to participate.


SEE: Muslim groups to Bob Fletcher: There's No "Islam" in Terrorism (Minnesota Public Radio)


Groups Object to St. Paul Somali Seminar, Call It Anti-Muslim (Pioneer Press)


The training engaged in fearmongering of Somalis and Muslims. For example, the training claimed that there is "an alarming trend of radical imams recruiting and radicalizing American-raised Somalis to be suicide bombers for the Al Qaeda-affiliated Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab"


However, this is what the FBI said regarding allegations that mosques and imams in Minnesota recruited and radicalized youth for terrorism:

But it's not just religious leaders who say the mosque is being unfairly maligned. The FBI said it has no reason to believe the mosque was indoctrinating people.


"At this point, we have uncovered no evidence to show there was any effort of any mosque or mosque leadership or mosque imam to take part in any recruitment or radicalization of these young men," said Special Agent E.K .Wilson of the Minneapolis division of the FBI.


While investigators believe that some of the secret meetings happened in a mosque, it doesn't appear to be a case of a radical imam brainwashing his students. In most cases, Wilson said, it was likely friends influencing friends.


"It looks like the recruitment process of these men was on a very peer-to-peer type scale," Wilson said. "Some of the individuals were more culpable than others, but it was a very lateral chain of command when it came to who is responsible." 
SEE: Minnesota Muslim leaders skeptical and disappointed after radicalization hearing (MPR) 


In May 2012, Fletcher's training was canceled in Mankato after Somali leaders met with city leaders to discuss the controversial content of the seminar. As a result, all of the city organizers withdrew their support of the seminar.


In March 2013, Catholic Charities, who had agreed to host the training in Waite Park, apologized for the training's anti-Somali/anti-Muslim flyer. They also agreed to remove the anti-Muslim/anti-Somali content from the presentation slides.

SEE: Muslim Education Event Comes Under Fire (KNSI) 



Please contact your local police department and tell them that trainings by unqualified, agenda-driven individuals influence the way peace officers perceive and treat the American Muslim community, leading to a rise in racial and religious profiling. Ask that they seek legitimate trainers and trainings.


SEE: Minnesota Police Departments


Thank you for your attention to this matter! Please distribute this email.


CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.