Trump accuses US-based Somalis of spreading extremism

Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump rallies with supporters in a cargo hangar at Minneapolis. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Donald Trump made the accusation during a rally at a cargo hangar in Minneapolis two days before the election

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has attacked the Somali community in the US state of Minnesota saying "some of them [are] joining Isis and spreading their extremist views".

Mr Trump promised to ensure that local communities were consulted before refugees settled.

Around 50,000 Somalis are in Minnesota.

The mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges reacted on Facebook, saying Somali immigrants made her city, in Minnesota state, a "better, stronger place".

She is from the Democratic Party, while Mr Trump is a Republican.

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Mr Trump cited a recent knife attack by a Somali immigrant who stabbed 10 people at a Minnesota shopping centre before being shot dead by a police officer.

He said at the rally on Sunday that Minnesota had seen "problems with faulty refugee vetting, with large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval".

Mr Trump vowed to stop admitting immigrants from "terror-prone regions'" until new, more intense vetting mechanisms were put into place.

Minnesota has the nation's largest Somali community - about 50,000 according to the US census.

The Somali community in Minnesota has been a target for terrorism recruiters.

Next week nine ethnic Somalis from Minnesota will be sentenced on terror charges for plotting to join the Islamic State group.

More than 20 young men have left the state in recent years to join the Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabab, which controls many rural areas in the south of the country.

About a dozen others have left in recent years to join militants in Syria.

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