We have written on many occasions about growing Somali gang violence in cities whose Somali populations are rapidly expanding. Here is one more story from Minneapolis, so far the undisputed leader in this example of the beauty and strength diversity brings to communities. Hat tip: to all of our readers who sent this story yesterday, thanks for thinking about us, and sorry I didn’t get to it sooner!
We mentioned Amednur Ali here in a recent post about a conviction Minnesota prosecutors did get in another Somali gang murder case. From AP:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Ahmednur Ali’s family fled the chaos and violence of their West African homeland Somalia in the 1990s, eventually making their way to Minnesota like thousands of their compatriots.
While many of the estimated 32,000 Somalis who settled in the state have struggled to adapt, Ali flourished, blazing a path to Minneapolis’ Augsburg College on a soccer scholarship by age 20. He studied political science and aspired to a political career modeled on President Barack Obama’s.
He was shot and killed last September outside a busy community center where he worked part-time as a youth counselor, and prosecutors said the 16-year-old accused of killing him was part of a gang.
Ali was one of seven Minneapolis-area Somali men killed over a 10-month period, and authorities believe all were killed by fellow Somalis. Police say it’s too simple to tie all the killings to Somali gangs, which have lured hundreds of young community members to their ranks in recent years.
Those in the insular community willing to speak out, however, disagree.
“It was all gang activity, totally, 100 percent,” said Shukri Adan, a former Somali community organizer who estimated in a 2007 report for the city that between 400 and 500 young Somalis were active in gangs. “The police don’t want to say that but everybody else knows that.”
Last month, prosecutors dropped the murder charge against the teenage boy in Ali’s case after one witness backed out and another apparently fled the state.
I wonder what the gangs call themselves in Columbus, Ohio, Lewiston, ME, Seattle, WA, Nashville, TN, Salt Lake City, UT, etc. etc.
Gangs like the Somali Hot Boyz, the Somali Mafia and Madhibaan with Attitude have grown more active in recent years, said Jeanine Brudenell, the Minneapolis Police Department’s Somali liaison officer.
Minneapolis is not alone!
Two of my Somali gang posts that stand out the most in my mind are these from Seattle, here and here. Go back to the first of these two links. Just now when I did it struck me that this quote from a Somali community organizer was so stunning that it bears repeating here.
While in Chicago, Mohamed said she was fortunate through Equal Voice to make valuable contacts with community organizers who have experience in facing some of the issues plaguing Seattle, particularly the city’s resurgence of gang violence. “We’re back in the ‘90s,” Mohamed exclaimed, except now it’s “East African gangs trying to get street cred.” She lamented, for example, the recent death of a 16-year-old Somali youth she had known since he was eight. He took an African-American friend to attend a Somali wedding. Afterwards, while driving down the highway, he was followed and shot by fellow Somalis, apparently enraged at him for “betraying his people” by bringing an African-American guest. [Ed: In the phrase “betraying his people” she likely isn’t referring to Somalis but to Muslims. He must have brought an infidel to an Islamic wedding. Unbelievably shocking revelation, did any of you, in your wildest dreams, know this was going on in America?]
Mohamed said that there are now “stabbings left and right,” territorial disputes over drug distribution turf among Asian, Latino, African American, and East African gangs, all being fueled by new Somali arrivals from Minnesota and Ohio. [It’s all Ohio and Minnesota’s fault, not Somalia’s fault?] It is very tough for parents to admit to the accusations, she said, that “your kid sells drugs, your kid does drugs.”
For more Somali gang stories use our search function or scroll through our ‘crimes’ category.
For new readers:
The US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing.