The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation searched the office of a
Minnesota travel agency this week for clues to the disappearance of 20
Somali-American men believed to be fighting in Somalia's civil war.
Jamal, spokesman for the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, says the owner
of Amana Travel was approached several months ago by two young men who
wanted to travel to Somalia. Jamal says the owner, Ali Mohamud, refused
to book the tickets when he learned the young men's parents were
unaware of their plans.
But about 20 Somali-American men from
the Minnesota area, including those two young men, have disappeared in
the last two years. They are believed to be in Somalia fighting with
the Islamist militant group al-Shabab against the Somali government and
The U.S. considers al-Shabab a terrorist group.
of the young men who disappeared, 19-year-old Jamaal Baana, was
reported killed during fighting in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital.
Somali-American man has already pleaded guilty in a U.S court to
providing material support to terrorists, and another says he will
plead guilty to the same charge.
Amana Travel owner Mohamud is
facing separate charges of fraud and felony theft, for allegedly taking
money for tickets he never bought and pocketing the refunds of tickets
Large numbers of Somalis came to the United States after the fall of Somalia's last stable government in 1991.
Many of them settled in Minneapolis, a large city in Minnesota.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.