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

Photogallery Kyiv: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins 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.
Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
X
August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid