News / USA

Somali Americans Linked to IS Shock Minnesota Immigrant Community

Somali Americans Linked to ISIS Shock Minnesota Immigrant Communityi
X
Kane Farabaugh
September 03, 2014 11:58 PM
The death of American citizen Douglas McAuthur McCain while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria has raised concerns about the radicalization and recruitment of young men from immigrant communities throughout the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the large Somali American community in Minnesota is coming to terms with news that one of its own may be the second American to die with the terror group.
Kane Farabaugh

It is difficult for Goth Ali to believe the man he sees in shaky and grainy social media videos is the same one he has known for almost a decade - Abdirahmaan Muhumed.
 
“One of my friends told me, 'hey - Abdirahmaan is fighting in Syria,'” he said. “I said, "what?!  I thought he [was] going to Ethiopia and fighting.'”
 
Ali and the large Somali American community in Minnesota are coming to terms with news that one of their own may be the second American to die while fighting on the side of Islamic State militants.
 
Reports of Americans fighting for the group have raised concerns about the radicalization and recruitment of young men from immigrant communities throughout the United States, and particularly those in the large Somali American community in Minnesota.
 
“When I hear the news I was shocked,” Ali said. “And everybody was shocked. The entire East Africa community and all the Somali was shocked by that guy.”
 
Ali says the father of nine left his family behind, and according to posts on his Facebook page - which Goth Ali believes are Muhumed’s - he resurfaced earlier this year in the Middle East, brandishing weapons and issuing a call for others to join him in jihad.
 
Minnesota Public Radio profiled Muhumed in a report in June, and through a series of Facebook messages with the radio station, he confirmed he was fighting with Islamic State militants.  
 
Muhumed’s case is similar to that of Abdi Mohamud Nur, another Somali American from Minnesota believed to be fighting in Iraq and Syria. His sister Ifrah told Voice of America earlier this year she received a text message from him indicating he planned to join the jihad.

Muhumed and Nur are among a number of ethnic Somali men from Minnesota who have left to join the conflict in Syria and Iraq, countries where they don't typically have family connections.
 
They are believed to be part of a larger investigation by the FBI’s field office in Minneapolis. Supervisory Special Agent E.K. Wilson, who did not talk about specific cases, says the issue is a significant concern and top priority for his agency. Wilson believes material on the Internet is a big recruiting tool attracting young men to fight.  “It has made the radicalization process change over time,” he says.  “It has created more opportunities for self-radicalization. There’s a lot of material on the Internet.”
 
Goth Ali and others in the Somali community agree. “I don’t believe the recruiting thing is going on in Minnesota or the United States. Actually the recruiting is coming from the YouTube.”
 
Wilson says the FBI is highlighting a message that joining an armed conflict overseas may be illegal, and potentially deadly. “This isn’t an adventure,” he explained.  “This isn’t a righteous cause.  It isn’t fun.  It’s not something you are going to do with your friends and come home when you are tired of it. It is a dangerous proposition.”
 
U.S. officials have not publicly confirmed Muhumed’s death, but a local TV station reports the man’s family has been notified that he died in Syria.
 
But Goth Ali wants more proof.

“We don’t have actually evidence, and I haven’t seen somebody like the U.S. State Department say we have evidence like a DNA test or pictures.”
 
Until that evidence comes, Ali says he waits for another message, another video that might show his friend is still alive.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify Power Base

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Loren J. from: San Francisco, CA
September 07, 2014 4:52 PM
Ethiopia and Uganda apparently exterminating his terrorist group in Somalia, so he fled elsewhere to murder civilians at will.

Meanwhile U.S. taxpayers taking care of his 9 children...Nine!

by: Mr a from: new york
September 04, 2014 11:11 AM
This is a ideal example of stabbing in back. American give Somali the chance to resettle In USA after they were suffering from famine and civil war.

They should be tankful . They should understand the love and compassion of the west. then the radical group whom they live in their community.They get food stamps and warfare, check medicate . section 8. and each Somali could cost the Us tax payee $3000 .

Then he become a devoted Muslim and willing to slaughter people as a sheep. Who can trust these people again????????
In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
September 04, 2014 10:13 PM
Mr. Ali Babow, from New York if you do not know what you saying better be shut up! Somali immigrants in US are very grateful to the government of US for the help of being allowed to settle in America.
According to US homeland security, overwhelming of Somali immigrants are law abiding citizens and very cooperative to authorities. You should know by now that every communities have always few bad apples which cause to have their community's reputation tarnished. |
Here in Somalia, we all appreciative and thankful to US's recent airstrikes against Arab trained terrorists of Al Shabaab. Somalis are not the ones who caused the 911 terrorist attack in America.
May our Lord bless America!

by: Andre from: Manitoba
September 04, 2014 6:17 AM
These people are a ticking time bomb. Ferguson was just a warm-up. Their next target will be America.

by: Lisa from: Dallas
September 03, 2014 9:37 PM
God Bless America, am very sorry for some of African who turns against American. American is not your problem when they brought us is to enjoy peace and freedom, we should have commonsense be you hate American people.for christians people don't hate American I came to America as refugee have been here for almost 10years this country help me to educate my brother and every day I ask to pray for the American. For the people who came here with hate your devil's and GOD one day will deal with you.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs