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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs