This is the latest report I’ve seen on the missing Minneapolis Somali youths. The Minnesota Independent begins its story with the personal account of a missing Somali American.
Burhaan Hassan was a fairly typical kid, the kind who asked his mother for $20 when he wanted to go see a movie on weekends. But on Election Day, while much of the world — including his single mother — was consumed by the historic election, he and a handful of Somali-American teenagers quietly boarded a plane to Kenya, en route to the front lines of a Jihad in Somalia.
Hassan, 17, wasn’t working and couldn’t afford the expensive airfare, said his uncle, Hussein Samatar, an immigrant from Somalia who now runs the African Development Group of Minnesota. “We believe someone — some group — has paid for his ticket,” he said.
I couldn’t find any formal website for the African Development Group of Minnesota but I noticed that Samatar is a fan of Obama’s (no surprise there).
The article continues about al-Shabaab and its US recruitment compaign apparently aiming for those with US Passports.
A United Nations investigation recently uncovered evidence that extremist groups in Somalia have ratcheted up their online recruiting and fundraising capabilities. Among other things, the U.N. Monitoring Group, which is tasked with monitoring weapons flowing to Somalia, found that members of Al-Shabaab (“The Youth”), a Somali group designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, have “intensified their cyber activities.”
The U.N. report notes that, unlike more moderate Islamist groups in Somalia, Al-Shabaab has relatively young leaders, some from Western countries, in its ranks. Obscure young jihadists with foreign passports have greater mobility — a key advantage over more well-known leaders, experts believe.
Ken Menkhaus, a Somalia expert at Davidson College in North Carolina, said recruiting Somalis with foreign passports would have “some advantages if [Al-Shabaab] intends to attack sites outside Somalia.”
The Somali leaders of the 70,000-strong Somali community in Minnesota are pointing the finger of blame at one local mosque in particular—the Abubkar As-Saddique Islamic Center (AAIC) and are calling for more scrutiny of mosques!
Before these teenagers went missing, youth programs at mosques went minimally scrutinized, complained some community leaders. To address this, Adam, the Daral-Hijra Center director, urges mosque leaders to introduce greater oversight on youth activities.
Sounds like a plan! I hope our FBI is thinking along the same lines.
You can see all of the links to posts on this story here. Also, be sure to see our original research on the number of Somalis who have entered the US under the Refugee Resettlement program here.