Law enforcement officials and leaders of the Twin Cities Muslim community gathered Thursday to confront the anxiety that has arisen in the days following Tuesday's terror attacks in Belgium and the high-profile rhetoric they have inspired.

Plans for the meeting materialized shortly after Texas senator and GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz on Wednesday referenced Minneapolis' Somali-American community as an example of where law enforcement efforts could be concentrated while doubling down on calls this week for authorities to be able to patrol Muslim communities.

"Our experience tells us that when there's a high-profile terror attack ... there will be a corresponding backlash directed at members of the Muslim community," FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton said. "You need to know you can call us if you feel you've been the victim of a hate crime."

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