Local Muslims On How To Beat Global Terror: Be Like WNY

Stress Vigilance and Dialogue with Local Law Enforcement

Dave Debo
May 25, 2017 - 6:37 am
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(WBEN) Leaders of the WNY Muslim community are saying  the relationship between law enforcement and local Muslims is a model that could help in the worldwide battle against terror. 

"Engagement with the community is fundamental for homeland security," says Dr. Khalid Qazi of the Muslim Public Affairs Council of WNY. 

British police have identified Salman Abedi, 22, as the bomber behind the attack on an Ariana Grande concert Monday in Manchester, England. Abedi died in the bombing, which claimed the lives of at least 22 victims and injured dozens more — many of whom were children.

Law enforcement in the U.K. continued to expand its investigation Wednesday, citing a wider terror network and arresting at least eight people in connection with the attack, according to Greater Manchester Police.

Word that the Abedi was apparently part of a bigger plot puts the focus again on fighting Islamist extremism and Qazi says in that there are lessons from Lackawanna.  

In the wake of the  Lackawanna Six being charged d with providing material support to Al Qaeda in 2001, the community has held a regular series of discussions with law enforcement. 

"We have been very fortunate in that regard, in fact, we had a big meeting just two weeks ago.. with leaders of the Muslim community across the region and we had a conversation with law enforcement and the US Attorney," Qazi says. 

Imam Anwar Alkalai at the Masjid AlHuda and The Islamic Society of Lackawanna says overseas there is some cooperation, but nothing compared to what he sees around here

"Cooperation between  law enforcement and the local community is the key... for successful monitoring of behavior that may lead to situations like this," he says, adding that the community has a vested interest in not getting another black eye from another terror attack.

"We are vigilant because at the end of the day, it effects our community more than any other community," he says. 


 

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