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

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid