Missing Somali “youths:” we’re baaaack!

Thanks to a friend from Tennessee, we now know that Fox News is reporting that some of the missing Somali youths*, thought to have been in Africa for terrorist training, have returned to the US.    However, the FBI is not saying whether they will be arrested!

Many of the Somali-American men who were recruited to join an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group overseas have returned to the United States, according to a source familiar with an FBI investigation into the matter — but the FBI still has not revealed publicly if it is pursuing arrests in the case.

“Some of the guys who were missing aren’t missing anymore,” the source said. “Some of them got blown up and some of them came back, and some of them are still there [in Somalia].”

For several months the FBI has been investigating at least 20 Somali-American men from the Minneapolis area who traveled to war-torn Somalia, where some of them trained and fought with an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group known as al-Shabaab, according to counterterrorism officials.

Asked to characterize how many of those men are now back on American soil, the source would only say that “several” have returned. Federal authorities believe the men went to Somalia to join al-Shabaab, which has been warring with the moderate Somali government since 2006.

The Fox News report doesn’t have much more on the Minneapolis missing but goes into a discussion of other areas of the US where the FBI is working in the Somali community.   In San Diego, one Somali-American has received a subpoena.

In fact, the FBI Field Office in San Diego has already interviewed “dozens” of people from the Somali-American community there, according to a local attorney.


Sherif [attorney] also said he knows at least one Somali-American who has received a subpoena to appear before a San Diego grand jury in the next couple of weeks. Sherif wouldn’t identify the person but described him as a naturalized U.S. citizen in his 30s. Sherif said the person “consulted” with him after receiving the subpoena. The person recently traveled to the Middle East, which may have raised a red flag with authorities, according to Sherif. He did not say where in the Middle East the person visited.

Seattle, where we have reported on Somali gang violence (here and here), is also being watched by the FBI.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials tell FOX News that federal authorities in Seattle have been keeping track of a group of men in Washington state with alleged ties to Somali-American terrorists.

Other cities with growing Somali populations that warrant watching are:   Lewiston and Portland, ME,  Boston, MA, Atlanta, GA, Columbus, OH and don’t forget Nashville, TN!

*  If you are new to this story or you are a reporter or blogger,  I recommend you visit this post we did in November where I have been keeping an archive of much of the coverage of the Somali missing youths saga.

Center for Immigration Studies confirms immigrant employment depresses wages at meatpacking plants

A new study out yesterday from the Center for Immigration Studies confirms that immigrant labor keeps wages low in the meatpacking industry.  The primary thrust of the study by Jerry Krammer was illegal immigration labor, but it discusses the recruitment of refugees by companies like Swift & Co. and Tyson Foods after illegal immigration raids had initially reduced their workforce.

This is a paragraph from the conclusion:

Of course, meatpacking is intrinsically unpleasant and difficult and this has always has been the case. But there is no question that the jobs paid a great deal more a generation ago when the vast majority of workers were native-born. There is also no question that as the foreign born share of this workforce has increased, wages have fallen significantly. The desirability of any job is heavily dependent on compensation. If the United States adopted a different immigration policy, one that reduced the number of less-educated immigrants entering the country, then it is very possible that wages and benefits would increase and line speeds might slow as Swift and other companies adapted to a change in the supply of labor.

I urge you to read the whole report and consider the following points that jumped out at me.

* High turnover imposes severe stress on local communities and social service agencies. It makes transience and upheaval a constant problem for the communities. Many residents resent the price their community pays to have the Swift plant as a large part of their local economy.

We have written so extensively about disrupted communities that we have whole categories for some towns.  See our categories for Emporia, KS, and for Greeley/Grand Island.  Use our search function for Shelbyville, TN and Postville, IA.

For those of you wondering how meatpackers get refugees so quickly, they offer signing bonuses among other enticements.

* In addition to pay increases, Swift introduced a number of methods to attract workers after the raids. The company paid bonuses to new employees, and to current employees who recruited others. It also advertised heavily, paid relocation expenses, and provided daily transportation from distant population centers.

And this is for all the do-gooders bringing refugees into the country and signing them up with meatpackers.

*All the Swift plants began drawing more refugees — especially from Burma and several African countries — who had been living elsewhere in the United States. These most recent refugees have allowed Swift and other meat processors to sustain working conditions not tolerable to many U.S.-born workers.

The CIS report reminded me of a post I did last May in which I speculated that the US State Department/Health and Human Services and the volags were acting as employment agencies for big meatpackers.

The US State Department is helping big companies by bringing cheap LEGAL labor through the refugee program couched as humanitarian work. Clinton was heavily involved in importing what amounts to slave labor all to help the meatpackers not have to pay decent wages to American citizens. Church groups are helping too!

This is what led me to that conclusion from a 2001 report in a publication called Agribusiness Examiner.   

“And IBP’s [Tyson Food bought IBP in 2002] good fortune didn’t end there,” Limbacher continues, “turns out the Clinton administration’s Bosnian refugee resettlement efforts also helped to keep labor costs down. Since 1995, for instance, the town of Waterloo, Iowa — population 65,000 – has been swamped with 6,000 Bosnian refugees, many of whom wound up working for the No. 1 local employer, IBP.”

Until recently, IBP’s 2,000-strong Waterloo workforce was one-third Bosnian. Most refugee families that settle there have a family member who at one time or another worked for the meatpacking giant. In fact, the meatpacking industry has a history of recruiting on the ground in Yugoslavia. But during the Clinton years, companies like IBP haven’t had to travel that far.

Since 1995, the Clinton INS has resettled over 80,000 Balkan refugees, mainly Bosnian Muslims, primarily in America’s Midwest. The immigrant deluge has earned Iowa the distinction of being the only state in the union with its own refugee bureau.

Come to think of it, wasn’t Lavinia (whoop-de-do) Limon of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Bill Clinton’s head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in those years?   The door doth revolve.

And, wasn’t there some big scandal with the Clinton’s and Tyson Foods some years ago?  I’m sure whatever it was, it benefited the poor downtrodden immigrant workers.