National Public Radio reported on Tuesday that there has been another arrest in the Somali missing youth case that began with the discovery last year that young Somali, former refugees (who received all the benefits of life in America), have returned to Africa to join the terrorist group Al Shabaab. This NPR story gives us a few bits of important new information.
The FBI has made another arrest in its yearlong investigation into a rash of disappearances from the Somali community in Minnesota.
A 26-year-old medical technician from St. Paul was arrested on Friday and charged with making false statements to FBI officials. His arrest had been under seal until Tuesday, when he appeared in a St. Paul federal court. He was indicted Wednesday on the charges.
An FBI spokesman said that Abdow Abdow’s arrest was related to the ongoing investigation into the two dozen Somali youths who have left the United States and traveled to Somalia to join a militia there called al-Shabab.
The criminal complaint against Abdow says he lied about driving a handful of Somali-Americans from Minneapolis across the country on Oct. 6. One of the young men in the car had his passport and $4,000 in cash. Two other young men who were passengers in Abdow’s car tried to leave the United States through Mexico two days later.
U.S. intelligence officials have been following the case out of concern that the Somalis leaving Minneapolis are being funneled to al-Shabab through what might be America’s first jihadi pipeline. Think of the potential pipeline as an underground railroad for jihadists — an intricate but informal network of militants who help their brothers in arms not only travel to terrorist training camps but also return home. The return trip to America is what worries U.S. intelligence. They envision a raft of young men training for jihad and slipping back into the U.S. to launch an attack.
What’s new here? This is the first time we have learned that some Jihadist wannabes may leave through Mexico; so will they return through Mexico?
Then the other thing that jumped out at me, is the report that the incident spurring the arrest occured on October 6th—9 days ago!
I thought we were told by leaders in the Muslim community in Minnesota back in August that the “pipeline” had shut down? Was this wishful thinking by the spokesman or an effort to divert attention? From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
A prominent Minneapolis Somali community leader said Tuesday that he believes the recruitment of young Somali-Americans from the Twin Cities to fight jihad in their homeland has slowed or stopped.
Speaking at a workshop to address the issue, Saeed Fahia, executive director of the Confederation of Somali Communities of Minnesota,* said the radicalization of Somali youth here is “over.” The combination of worldwide media and law enforcement scrutiny, coupled with greater vigilance by parents, has caused the recruiting pipeline here to dry up, he said.
“It’s come to a halt. People felt this has gone too far,” Fahia said. “And the thing is, parents are really alert. Many parents are saying, ‘Where are my children? Who do they talk to?’ You don’t trust anybody.”
Fahia’s comments come as federal investigators bear down on those believed to have recruited up to 20 Twin Cities men over the past two years to fight for Al-Shabaab, a Somali Islamic group that the State Department defines as a terrorist organization affiliated with Al-Qaida. Counterterrorism officials point to the ongoing risk that local Somalis, many of whom are U.S. citizens, could return to this country as trained terrorists.
* See my earlier report on the political activities of the Confederation of Somali Communities of MN, a taxpayer supported group known as an Ethnic Community Based Organization (ECBO). Think of ECBOs as mini-ACORNs!
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.