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Building Resilience to Violent Extremism Among Somali-Americans in Minneapolis-St.Paul


This study asked members of the Somali‐American community in Minneapolis‐St. Paul to describe the challenges of living in a refugee community, how violent extremists try to exploit their condition for recruitment purposes, and what resources and strategies are needed to minimize their vulnerability.  Using ethnographic methods, this study looked at the everyday lives of Somali‐American adolescent boys and young men in the context of their families and communities.  It found opportunities for entering violent extremism as well as capacities for diminishing those opportunities. Based on empirical data and informed by relevant theory, it identified themes and built a model, Diminishing Opportunities for Violent Extremism (DOVE), which can help to inform prevention strategies for building community resilience to violent extremism in the Somali‐American community in Minneapolis‐St. Paul.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Weine, Stevan, and Osman Ahmed. 2012. “Building Resilience to Violent Extremism Among Somali‐Americans in Minneapolis‐St. Paul.” Final Report to Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. College Park, MD: START (August). 

START Author(s):