UK & World News
Battle To Save US Youth From 'Jihadi Pipeline'
Authorities in the American city regarded as the 'jihadi pipeline' for terror group al Shabaab say they are winning the battle to prevent young men being recruited.
The FBI says the group, which has admitted being behind the Nairobi mall massacre, has persuaded dozens of young men from within the Somalian community in Minneapolis to join them.
Police and community leaders in the city, the largest Somalian population in the United States, have waged a war to win the hearts and minds of young men and keep them out of al Shabaab's clutches.
And, they say, what was a steady flow of recruits has slowed to a trickle.
US Attorney General Eric Holder has said he has seen no evidence to suggest that any Americans were involved in the Nairobi operation.
But events in Kenya have sent a shudder through families in the Minneapolis Riverside area known as "Little Mogadishu" - they fear that some of those young men who have disappeared will be caught up in al Shabaab attacks on Western targets.
Last month the group posted a YouTube video featuring the so-called Minnesota Martyrs, three young inner-city Americans appealing for others to join them on "the path to paradise".
One, speaking directly to camera, says: "If you guys only knew how much fun we have over here, this is the real Disneyland, come here and join us, take pleasure in this fun."
And Sky News understands that two more young men disappeared from Minneapolis earlier this month - with their families fearing the worst.
Despite this, the authorities say they are making progress in the face of what the FBI says is one of the largest efforts to recruit Americans to a foreign terrorist organisation.
Sergeant Derwin Ellis, who leads the outreach effort for the sheriff's department, told Sky News: "We're moving in a positive direction.
"How that is measured as far as the battle overall is hard to say. Until al Shabaab ceases to exist I won't say that battle is over with."
Mohamed Farah is the executive director of a non-profit organisation called Ka Joog, which translates as "stay away". He told Sky News the outreach efforts are working.
He said: "The only way to combat such an organisation is education, making sure our young people understand and are educated not only in their religion, but socially, so they're aware of the good and the bad.
"It is working, it is definitely working. There will always be bad apples, but we must be positive."
They hope the example of young, smart, media-savvy role models in the community will be inspirational.
One of them, student Abdul Mohamed, told Sky News: "I'm very confident in the notion that this will end, that the youth will snap out of it, will realise this is not the right way to go, that nothing positive that can come out of it.
"There is hope in the future."