Al Shabab: Tapping into a wave of Islamic extremism

If you have been following our extensive coverage of the Minneapolis missing Somali youths closely, this story, reported by the Christian Science Monitor today, about the life and death of Tawakal Ahmed, a Somali boy from Kenya, is going to sound terribly (tragically) familiar.   Ahmed is dead in Somalia and his family has no idea who killed him—possibly Al-Shabab Islamists themselves.

The boys family and friends blame his radicalization on the local mosque.  Experts are quoted as saying that they don’t think the recruitment is coming directly from some organized effort within Al-Shabab (sometimes spelled Al-Shabaab)  in Somalia, but from a worldwide trend toward radicalization—-radicalization that is happening at mosques!

“Sometimes Al Shabab’s work is done for them by others, unwittingly,” says Rashid Abdi, a Kenyan-Somali analyst at the Nairobi field office of the International Crisis Group. “Al Shabab is basically tapping into a wave, a radicalization phenomenon which is happening in the Muslim world.”

I could make a joke here and suggest this will soon be ending because Obama gave his Cairo speech, but I won’t because it won’t.  The American Al-Shabab has already laughed at Obama, here.

Lots of money in this effort:

The relative wealth displayed by those who control the mosques also leaves some residents suspicious. “Whether it’s coming from the Middle East or Mars, I don’t know,” says Milgo Ahmed, Tawakal’s older cousin. “But money is there. Money is being poured all over the place. That is how our children are being used and taken away.”

Let’s see, who has money in the Middle East?  Oh, yeh, Saudi Arabia.  Funny, isn’t it Saudi Arabia that is pouring money into US mosques too?

Lots of intimidation going on too.  In the US you probably won’t get shot, just CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) will be sicced on you!

Anyone who preaches against these people will be shot.


Despite their fear, Tawakal’s friends and family say the only way to fight this perceived encroachment on their town and their vision of Islam is to speak out. “After losing him, we started to understand the magnitude of this thing – of a young man being poached to do bad things in the name of helping his family,” Metro says.

Are you seeing the parallels to Minneapolis?  Family in Kenya says people must speak up; families in US say the same thing.   Or else:

Ms. Ahmed, Tawakal’s cousin, worries for the five recent graduates in her home who seem to have no opportunity for the future: “Tawakal is dead. He will no longer come [back]. But many, many other Tawakals are going to have the same fate if the international community does not take action,” she says.

Her family feels helpless, she says, with no protection from extremists and nowhere to turn. Complaints to Kenyan authorities fall on deaf ears.

“We are in big trouble,” Ahmed says. “We have nowhere to go…. Our children are not safe.”

Ditto for Minneapolis and possibly other American cities.


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