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Maricopa attorney urges Muslim leaders to keep eye on faithful

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is urging local Muslim leaders to keep an eye out for any followers who are at risk of radicalization.

“Local Muslim leaders, in particular imams, have a responsibility to inform parents to be on the lookout for the involvement of their children in any social media or online websites that might seek to prey on recruiting young men in particular to Islamic extremism,” he said Thursday.

Montgomery said Muslim leaders need to watch for the signs that a follower is heading down the path to extremism, including expressing sympathy for terrorist groups.

“Statements that are in favor of ISIS, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or Boko Haram, for instance,” he said.

Montgomery said leaders he has spoken to support his position. His call for supervision came in the wake of two radicalized Phoenix men who were killed over the weekend after opening fire at a Texas cartoon contest.