News / USA

    Al-Shabab Recruitment an Enduring Concern for Minnesota Somalis

    Al-Shabab Recruitment an Enduring Concern for Minnesota Somalisi
    X
    September 26, 2013 3:18 PM
    Somali-Americans in Minnesota expressed anger and frustration Wednesday after unconfirmed reports that people from their local community may have been involved in the attack on a Kenyan shopping mall that killed at least 67 people. VOA's Brian Padden is in Minneapolis and reports that the ability of a Somalia-based Islamic militant group to recruit young Americans has been a longstanding concern.
    Al-Shabab Recruitment an Enduring Concern for Minnesota Somalis
    Brian Padden
    Somali-Americans in Minnesota expressed anger and frustration Wednesday after unconfirmed reports that people from their local community may have been involved in the attack on a Kenyan shopping mall that killed at least 67 people. The ability of a Somalia-based Islamic militant group to recruit young Americans has been a long-standing concern.

    Ka Joog, a Somali-American youth group, called a news conference in Minneapolis to condemn the al-Shabab terrorist group for its attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall and the killing of innocent civilians.

    Reports that some of the attackers were from Minnesota have not been confirmed. But since 2007, between 20 and 40 ethnic Somali-Americans have joined al-Shabab in Somalia, some of them dying there, according to U.S. authorities.

    Ka Joog leader Mohamed Farah said the vast majority of Somalis in Minnesota and around the world do not support terrorism.

    “Every community has their own bad apples in it. And so, but you know we got to make sure we don't torture the image of the great Somalis that reside across the globe,” he said.

    Abdirizak Bihi, director of a Somali advocacy center in Minneapolis, said his nephew Burhan Hassan was recruited by al-Shabab in a local mosque in 2008.

    “He was one of the young men that has been brainwashed, radicalized and then helped to leave the country to join al Shabaab,” Bihi explained, adding that the group targets vulnerable Somalis who feel marginalized in U.S. society. Bihi said after his nephew joined, his family alerted authorities to the danger al-Shabab posed.

    “We shocked al-Shabab by standing up to them and organizing all other families and continued to make a case to the U.S. government and the international community that there is a big problem over there that followed us here,” Bihi said.

    Since then, there have been successful efforts to engage young people to counter-terrorist recruitment in the area, he said. But it is too late for Bihi's nephew, who died in Somalia in 2009.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Abdi from: Minneapolis
    October 06, 2013 1:42 PM
    Abdirizak Bihi is NOT a Somali community leader. His organization is non-existent in the community and so is he. He only shows up when the media is there. Find some legitimate Somali leaders- who don't have restraining orders, DWIs and arrest warrants. This Bihi guy is a joke.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 27, 2013 12:28 PM
    There is no excuse to exonerate an average muslim of complicity with terrorism, young Somalis inclusive. More than 90% of all violent and terrorist acts in the world is committed by the same group almost all the time, with some trying to explain it away in one way or another, some condemning it - which I see as untrue because they in one way or another contribute to funding of the barbaric act, while the set aside group by any name of their choice - al qaida, el shebaab, boko haram, al masri, muslim brotherhood, hezbollah, hamas, mujahideen, hakanni network, etc - continue to unleash mayhem on cities and regions and peoples. They are accommodated in places and mosques and yet they are as elusive as the air. Where have all these lip-service condemnation landed us? Into more radicalization as young Somalis going all the way from USA to stage such hold-ups as Westgate Mall attacks. Horrendous, to say the least.
    In Response

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    September 28, 2013 2:53 AM
    Blaming all Muslims as terrorists and/or contributors of terrorism activities ..."in one way or another" is unsubstantiated assertion. This kind of statement has been known uttering by Western representatives for the past number of years. Your 'blaming" statement is very similar to a research done by Professor J. Philip Rushton of University of Western Ontario. In his published research Rushton claimed that all African descents, because of their genetic problem, have inherently violent and aggressive personality. In other words, Rushton believes all black people are terrorists, of course young Somalis inclusive. Taking this "hypothesis" and apply to all Muslims is deplorable manners.

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    September 27, 2013 10:46 AM
    Somali youth from diaspora who joined Al-Shabab grew up in families were there were no father figures. They all became vulnerable, dropped out of school and disfranchised by their own community. Western countries including USA and Canada have no meaningful programs for these particular youth of colour.

    Taking advantage of their situation, Somali terrorist agents recruited, brainwashed, radicalised and sent them all right here in Somalia to fight alongside Al-Shabab. All but few get killed. To begin with, these youth were let down by their fathers, Somali communities and the society they live in. Unfortunately it's avoidable tragedy and should not be repeated.

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    September 27, 2013 1:37 AM
    It is unfair for al-shabab to target oversea young Somalis. It would be easy to braiwash and make radicarize them feeling marginarized there. Government and local residents should protect those ethnic young facing the risk of unfair recruitment.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora