San Diego Somalis don’t believe Obama administration’s case

This is an update of the story we posted here three weeks ago about the arrest of four Somalis in San Diego (including the local imam) who are charged with aiding the terrorist group Al-shabab.

From KPBS:

SAN DIEGO — Despite scores of FBI intercepts, many local Somalis think the government’s case against four area San Diegans is fabricated and believe their community remains caught in the crosshairs of 9/11.

“There’s no Somali that I know today who supports al-Shabab,” said Mohamed Mohamed, a local Somali college student.

But in court papers, federal prosecutors say at least one of the accused men — Basaaly Moalin — had ties with top-ranking al-Shabab figures including Ayden Hashi Ayrow, the founder of al-Shabab which is trying to topple the weak central government in Somalia.

International Rescue Committee spokesman says undue pressure put on Somali “community” by authorities.

College student Yusuf Ali questions how the Imam, who counseled the community’s youth on the importance of education and Islam, could support al-Shabaab — a brutal group infamous for cutting off people’s hands and beheadings.

“He was my mentor. He used to tell me, `stay in school, stay away from drugs, study.’ He was teaching me my religion. He never taught me any violence. I was with him for 10 years. I never saw him doing that stuff.”

When asked if he thought the government was lying, Ali said, “Yeah, I do.”

Edgar Hopida of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says past terrorism cases have fostered that perception. He says the government has accused other American Muslims of having ties to violent Islamist groups but ends up with minor immigration violation convictions.

“So when they saw this come about with one of their local leaders, they saw it as `oh no, here we go again,'” Hopida said.

Many Somalis believe the government is specifically targeting their community.

“There’s a feeling that there’s an undue focus on the Somali community which is unfounded, because until now, there’s really been no wrongdoing in the community,” said Bob Montgomery who runs the International Rescue Committee in San Diego. “People are just struggling to rebuild their lives and all have fled the same terrorism that al-Shabab is doing now.”

Mr. Montgomery is probably worried that the public will ask him why his organization brought so many Somalis to San Diego in the first place.

See more about San Diego here where Somalis and law enforcement begin dialogue.

Phoenix, AZ: Bhutanese refugee commits suicide

From Nepal News:

A resettled Bhutanese refugee committed suicide in Phoenix of Arizona state of America Wednesday.

Doctors attending 20-year-old Menuka Poudel at St Joseph Hospital formally declared her dead at 6:30 pm local time, Wednesday, a refugee-run news agency, Bhutan News Service (BNS) reported today.

According to the report, she was rescued from her apartment when she was found hanging on a scarf to commit suicide on Tuesday afternoon.


The cause behind the suicide is not yet known, BNS said.

For new readers: We are admitting 60,000 Bhutanese refugees over a 5 year period (see Bush Asst. Secretary of State, Ellen Sauerbrey’s announcement here in 2007).  In FY2008 we admitted 5,320, FY2009 – 13,452, and in FY2010 which ended on September 3oth we admitted 12,363—two more years and 28,865 to go.  More numbers may be found here.

Unrelated, but this story reminded me of the Bhutanese refugee who was murdered in Florida in 2009.  I wonder whatever happened with that case, does anyone know?

Follow immigration and refugee issues on Capitol Hill at this website

I just yesterday learned about this website ( for news about what is happening in Washington and on Capitol Hill regarding the issues we care about here at RRW.   Note today the Dream Act could come up in the Senate but it is unlikely.   You can also track daily immigration issues and action-needed at NumbersUSA, here.

A reminder to readers: We have a category entitled, ‘where to find information,’ you might want to check it out from time to time.