News / USA

Top Priority for FBI In Minnesota: Somali Extremists

Top Priority for FBI In Minnesota: Somali Extremistsi
X
September 27, 2013 5:45 PM
U.S. law enforcement officials say preventing Somali Americans from aiding the terrorist organization al-Shabab continues to be its top priority in Minnesota, where the largest Somali community in the United States resides. VOA's Brian Padden spoke to both a Federal Bureau of Investigation official and a former U.S. attorney in Minneapolis about counter terrorism in America's heartland.
Brian Padden
U.S. law enforcement officials say preventing Somali Americans from aiding the terrorist organization al-Shabab continues to be its top priority in Minnesota, where the largest Somali community in the United States resides.

The FBI said it will not comment at this time on its active investigation into the al-Shabab terrorist group's attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall and whether any Somali Americans were involved.

But for FBI agents in Minneapolis, combating al-Shabab's efforts to radicalize Somali Americans has been the top priority for years.  Kyle Loven is the chief division counsel for the region. “We have individuals who have purportedly [been] going over to fight on behalf of a foreign terrorist organization which has been so designated by the state department," he noted. "So that is a violation of federal law and we've had some convictions here in the last couple of years.”

More than 20 young Somali Americans have travelled to Somalia to fight for the terrorist group.  Some were killed overseas.  Some returned and were convicted of aiding a terrorist organization and sentenced to between 3 and 20 years.  Loven said the FBI is intent on ending the terrorist ties between Somalia and Minnesota.

“We want to discover who is radicalizing these young men, facilitators, where the money is coming from, and try to disrupt this pipeline of young Somali men. That is the aim of this investigation,” Loven said.

Anders Folk, former assistant U.S. attorney for Minnesota said counter-terrorism is also a main focus. “In terms of the number of cases prosecuted and in terms of the number of defendants convicted, it is the most extensive counter terrorism investigation that Minneapolis has seen,” he said.

He said the Islamic militant organization indoctrinates disaffected Muslim youths in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul to recruit friends to wage jihad against enemies of Islam.

“Al-Shabab used peer to peer recruiting in the twin cities, that it used individuals who once they left Minnesota and joined the organization in Somalia, those individuals reached back to their friends and family in the twin cities,” Folk explained.

Folk said law enforcement and moderate Somalis have reduced the influence of al-Shabab, but the group is still trying to reach out to at-risk Somali men in Minnesota.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ethiopian Govt Officail from: Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
September 28, 2013 5:22 AM
Terrorism must be combated. Attacking the innocent is never justified, but we have to recognize; we are dealing with the symptom here; not the source. Our government under Meles leadership and the United Staes government under George W. Bush and Secretary Jendayi Frazer conspired to invade and occupy this decadent Muslim nation; exuasted by drought and famine and 20 years of anarchy and lawlessness. Our external intervention in the internal affairs of that country is what caused all this reaction. What you are seeing is a reaction to our action. Not the other way around. Let the Somalis reconstitute their nationality in the somali homeland; with all political trends including islamic parties included in their national political process; and all foriegn armies (kenyan, Burundi, Ugandan, and Ethiopian armies) departing from Somalian territories. Let's also be careful not to criminalize Somali American citizenship rights in Minnesota for having different political opinions and views than the mainstream view.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
September 27, 2013 9:20 PM
All terrorism including by Islamists could come from barin washing. Who plots brainwashing and who are brainwashed? They must have some discontent. What are those dissatisfaction and where those complaints come from? Are all only for their responsiblity? Unfairness, discrimination and poverty should disappear in the world. How could we build up such a utopia?

by: Ecoman Obaino from: Nigeria
September 27, 2013 3:49 PM
Any measure taken against Islamist terrorism is bound to have consequences, but it is not a excuse for not combating it. As humans continue to exist, so do criminals, including terrorists. Islamist terrorism is the strongest in the world and is as a consequence for Western manipulation of the Islamic world. There are reasons for several reasons for terrorist attacks, and the worst is that many take them for granted. The war against terror must continue, but cannot be totally defeated.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More