26 November 2008

Minnesota Somalis And Jihad

Several young Somali males, anywhere from 15 to 20 in recent months, have been leaving Minnesota without notifying family or friends. Many are concerned that these Somalis are being recruited in the U.S. to return to Somalia to join Islamic terrorists. One of those Somalis, Shirwa Ahmed, was a suicide bomber who took part in a coordinated terror attack that killed more than 20 people in northern Somalia four weeks ago.

One of the men who disappeared from Minneapolis is believed to have killed himself in an Oct. 29 suicide bombing in northern Somalia, according to a U.S. law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. That official confirmed that the FBI and Justice Department were investigating.

Another U.S. law enforcement official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said authorities are calling it one of the first instances in which a U.S. citizen has acted as a suicide bomber. [...]

"We're aware of the circumstances in Somalia right now, and the events of the Oct. 29 bombings. And we are aware that a number of individuals from throughout the U.S., and Minneapolis, have traveled to Somalia to potentially fight for terrorist groups," said Special Agent E.K. Wilson, an FBI spokesman in Minneapolis. He did not confirm or deny whether there was an ongoing investigation.
I can't say that I'm surprised at this. Minnesota has a large Somali population, and the famous "Minnesota nice" attitude has allowed the Somalis to take up residence here without assimilating. The Somali parents have not become part of our culture, activists such as Omar Jamal continue to pound a victim mentality into the Somali youth, and a politically correct local media is not willing to take the Somali community to task.

Crime in the Somali community, especially violent crime, has been rising here in Minnesota lately. While the Somali-on-Somali crime has been heavily covered by the local media, usually replete with handwringing over why Somali youth would throw away the American dream, the Somali-on-non-Somali crime doesn't garner similar headlines.

In mid-August, just weeks before the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, two non-Somalis were attacked separately in the Twin Cities by a group of three Somali teens. One of the Somalis involved in the attacks stated that he does not like "white Americans." Switch the backgrounds of the attackers and victims here, and this would have been a much more publicized story; especially with RNC just weeks away.

Last week Minneapolis Police arrested four Somalis for their string of armed robberies of women near the University of Minnesota. Again, switch the backgrounds and the P.C. Twin Cities' media becomes much more interested in "in-depth coverage" and "special reports."

So, what is the connection with Somali crime in Minnesota and some young Somalis leaving Minnesota to go fight in jihad in Somalia? Well, those criminal elements tend to regularly cross paths with the extremist elements. They are both dealing in an underground economy, weapons, and a disdain for the people and rules of our local culture.

The jihadists need to finance the travel of their new recruits to Somalia. Selling weapons to local Somali gangs, and helping to move stolen goods for local Somali criminals could go a long way in making that travel happen. The jihadists may even find themselves fresh recruits among the Somali youth that they may be doing business with.

The FBI and Homeland Security continue to investigate the possibility of terrorist recruiting networks in the Twin Cities which may have been developed by a Somali who lived in Minnesota for over a decade before returning to Somalia to blow himself up in a terror attack. The local Somali youth going abroad to commit terror is disconcerting, but the concern that some of those same local Somalis might be recruited for jihad right here in the U.S. is what really makes me worried.

Think about that the next time you see the lines of Somali driven taxis waiting outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.


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