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An anti-Muslim vigilante group with roots in Europe is now targeting mosques in the United States with “patrols” meant to curb Islamic extremism and radicalism. Despite the group’s desire to project an image of peaceful crime fighters, however, critics warn against their rise and influence as they prey on Americans who are fearful of refugees and terrorists.

The Soldiers of Odin (SOO) deployed five members of its group to a mosque in the Denver suburb of Northglenn last Saturday to support the “right to free speech” of a lone protester who frequently demonstrates in front of the building. The protester claimed the mosque was full of Islamic extremists, so the group went on a “fact-finding/recon mission,” as they call it. Four members entered the mosque and questioned the imam, asking about the mosque’s stance on Sharia Law and whether the congregation collaborates with radical jihadi groups. One person stood guard outside.

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