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Somali ‘Refugees’ In US Take Up Jihad

Buried discreetly in the New York Times:


A Call to Jihad From Somalia, Answered in America

By ANDREA ELLIOTT

July 12, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS — The Carlson School of Management rises from the asphalt like a monument to capitalist ambition. Stock prices race across an electronic ticker near a sleek entrance and the atrium soars skyward, as if lifting the aspirations of its students. The school’s plucky motto is “Nowhere but here.”

For a group of students who often met at the school, on the University of Minnesota campus, those words seemed especially fitting. They had fled Somalia as small boys, escaping a catastrophic civil war. They came of age as refugees in Minneapolis, embracing basketball and the prom, hip-hop and the Mall of America. By the time they reached college, their dreams seemed within grasp: one planned to become a doctor; another, an entrepreneur.

But last year, in a study room on the first floor of Carlson, the men turned their energies to a different enterprise.

“Why are we sitting around in America, doing nothing for our people?” one of the men, Mohamoud Hassan, a skinny 23-year-old engineering major, pressed his friends.

In November, Mr. Hassan and two other students dropped out of college and left for Somalia, the homeland they barely knew. Word soon spread that they had joined the Shabaab, a militant Islamist group aligned with Al Qaeda that is fighting to overthrow the fragile Somali government.

The students are among more than 20 young Americans who are the focus of what may be the most significant domestic terrorism investigation since Sept. 11. One of the men, Shirwa Ahmed, blew himself up in Somalia in October, becoming the first known American suicide bomber. The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert M. Mueller, has said Mr. Ahmed was “radicalized in his hometown in Minnesota.”

An examination by The New York Times, based on interviews with close friends and relatives of the men, law enforcement officials and lawyers, as well as access to live phone calls and Facebook messages between the men and their friends in the United States, reveals how a far-flung jihadist movement found a foothold in America’s heartland.

The men appear to have been motivated by a complex mix of politics and faith, and their communications show how some are trying to recruit other young Americans to their cause.

The case represents the largest group of American citizens suspected of joining an extremist movement affiliated with Al Qaeda. Although friends say the men have never thought of carrying out attacks in the United States, F.B.I. officials worry that with their training, ideology and American passports, there is a real danger that they could.

“This case is unlike anything we have encountered,” said Ralph S. Boelter, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Minneapolis office, which is leading the investigation.

Most of the men are Somali refugees who left the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in two waves, starting in late 2007. While religious devotion may have predisposed them to sympathize with the Islamist cause in Somalia, it took a major geopolitical event — the Ethiopian invasion of their homeland in 2006 — to spur them to join what they saw as a legitimate resistance movement, said friends of the men.

For many of the men, the path to Somalia offered something personal as well — a sense of adventure, purpose and even renewal. In the first wave of Somalis who left were men whose uprooted lives resembled those of immigrants in Europe who have joined the jihad. They faced barriers of race and class, religion and language. Mr. Ahmed, the 26-year-old suicide bomber, struggled at community colleges before dropping out. His friend Zakaria Maruf, 30, fell in with a violent street gang and later stocked shelves at a Wal-Mart.

If failure had shadowed this first group of men, the young Minnesotans who followed them to Somalia were succeeding in America. Mr. Hassan, the engineering student, was a rising star in his college community. Another of the men was a pre-med student who had once set his sights on an internship at the Mayo Clinic. They did not leave the United States for a lack of opportunity, their friends said; if anything, they seemed driven by unfulfilled ambition…

The case has forced federal agents and terrorism analysts to rethink some of their most basic assumptions about the vulnerability of Muslim immigrants in the United States to the lure of militant Islam. For years, it seemed that “homegrown” terrorism was largely a problem in European countries like Britain and France, where Muslim immigrants had failed to prosper economically or integrate culturally. By contrast, experts believed that the successful assimilation of foreign-born Muslims in the United States had largely immunized them from the appeal of radical ideologies.

The story of the Twin Cities men does not lend itself to facile categorizations. They make up a minuscule percentage of their Somali-American community, and it is unclear whether their transformation reflects any broader trend. Nor are they especially representative of the wider Muslim immigrant population, which has enjoyed a stable and largely middle-class existence.

Even among the world’s jihadists, the young men from Minneapolis are something of an exception: in their instant messages and cellphone calls, they seem caught between inner-city America and the badlands of Africa, pining for Starbucks one day, extolling the virtues of camel’s milk and Islamic fundamentalism the next…

A generation of Somalis grew up in the overcrowded refugee camps of northern Kenya, where malaria, scorpion infestations and hunger took their toll. Tales of America sustained them. Clean water was said to flow freely in kitchens, and simple jobs like plucking chickens paid handsomely.

Proof came in the cash sent by a first wave of refugees who had arrived in the United States in the early 1990s. Minneapolis, with its robust social services and steady supply of unskilled jobs, quickly became the capital of their North American diaspora.

When they ended their shifts as cabdrivers or janitors, many Somalis retreated from American life. They had transformed a blighted stretch near the Mississippi River into a Little Mogadishu, commandeering a grim collection of cinderblock buildings known as the Towers — a onetime fictional residence of the heroine of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

They cut their hair at Somali barber shops, prayed at Somali mosques and organized themselves along the same clan lines that had divided them for decades, calling on tribal elders to settle family disputes and community rifts…

While Somali nationalism had initially driven the men, a friend said, their cause eventually took on a religious cast. They became convinced that Somalia’s years of bloodshed were punishment from God for straying from Islam, the friend said. The answer was to restore the Caliphate, or Islamic rule

For their own good, we wish the New York Times would teach its ‘reporters’ how to write.

It is simply deadening to plow through their hopelessly wordy and meandering screeds to try to get to the point of the article. Albeit, in this case the lack of clarity is probably intentional.

For The Times does not really want us to realize just how many of those peace-loving Somalis that we have brought to our land have decided to take up arms against us.

They had transformed a blighted stretch near the Mississippi River into a Little Mogadishu, commandeering a grim collection of cinderblock buildings known as the Towers — a onetime fictional residence of the heroine of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

It’s little details such as this that just make you ask, what has happened to our country?

Why have we done this to ourselves?

However, we did get a nice (albeit bitter) laugh about this disclaimer that The Times reporter felt obligated to include:

The story of the Twin Cities men does not lend itself to facile categorizations. They make up a minuscule percentage of their Somali-American community, and it is unclear whether their transformation reflects any broader trend. Nor are they especially representative of the wider Muslim immigrant population, which has enjoyed a stable and largely middle-class existence.

No, of course not.

By the way, how long will it be before we are reading the same stories about the 1, 350 Palestinians from Iraq whom we are taking to our bosom?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, July 12th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

22 Responses to “Somali ‘Refugees’ In US Take Up Jihad”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Seems like we just can’t get these terrorist in our country fast enough to suit our leaders and protectors.
    I’ll tell you why……they vote democrapic. Our leaders won’t be happy until our streets run red with American blood at the hands of our peaceful Islamic brethren.
    I’m ready to repel the horde let loose amongst us by our own government. Problem is …. these bravos won’t do a stand up fight. Noooooooo …….. they go for the soft underbelly and slip away like the godless, gutless cowards and camel / goat sexual abusers they are!!
    The time is approaching when being civil and turning the other cheek just won’t do and I’m not talking about doing the jihadist!

  2. Steve says:

    Here is an article from Fox News about one of these bravos:

    Spokesman: Third American Killed In Somalia

    July 11, 2009 | by: Mike Levine

    Another Minnesota man recruited to join an Al Qaeda-linked group in Somalia has been killed in the war-torn African country, according to a spokesman for the man’s family.

    Family members of 20-year-old Jamal Bana found photos of his bloody body online, according to Abdirizak Bihi, who has represented many of the families whose loved ones left the Minneapolis area last year to join al-Shabaab, which has been warring with the moderate Somali government since 2006.

    The FBI has been looking into how more than 20 young, Somali-American men from the Twin Cities and elsewhere were recruited to train and possibly fight alongside al-Shabaab…

    Before leaving for Somalia, Bana had studied electrical engineering at a community college.

    Bana would be the third known American to die alongside al-Shabaab…

    http://tinyurl.com/lurnzq

  3. Enthalpy says:

    On coming to America: 1. If you come to stay, you will become an American citizen with all of the attendant rights and responsibilities. 2. If you are unwilling to accept #1 or you fail to qualify, you are our guest, and we hope that you enjoy your visit. At the end of your visit, we hope that you have a safe trip home. You are welcome to return, but the same rules apply.

    That’s it.

  4. Petronius says:

    SG: “Why have we done this to ourselves?”

    What you mean, “we,” kemosabe?

    I’ve been working on a concise definition of modern Liberalism. This is still a work in progress, but here is a tentative, admittedly somewhat awkward, definition:

    Liberalism is a secular ideology which is completely out of touch with reality but has been blessed by the media and academics with an aura of quasi-religious sanctity. Its doctrine is Marxism, and its aims are power (both for its own sake and as a means to remold human beings), theft, and destruction of Western Civilization. Its method is to take control of a white, Christian country through abuse of the democratic process; giving that country over to anti-white, anti-Christian migrants (legal or illegal, it hardly seems to matter) for colonization and occupation; forcing the indigenous inhabitants to pay for their dispossession through heavy taxation, affirmative action, endless crime, bloodshed, and humiliations, private school tuition, indoctrination and obliteration of their culture; punishing those who object to this treatment as “hate criminals,” and then describing this whole monstrous process as “enrichment.”

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Awkward definition?
      Hardly so, sir. I’d call it “Right On” and to the point!
      (As usual)

    • Howard Roark says:

      A very honest definition, in my opinion.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Bravo!

    • proreason says:

      great defininiton, Petronius.

      A few minor suggestions.

      You have the punishment theme in the definition, but you only aply it to “those who object”. In fact, liberals are bent on punishing everyone who has succeeded.

      Success is another missing theme. They want to punish those who have succeeded in order to redistribute their wealth to those who are incapable of succeeding.

      And the last missing theme is similar to success. It’s responsibility. Those of us who have succeeded have done so largely by simply being responsible. And that sticks in the craw of liberals, who reject the concept of responsibility.

    • Petronius says:

      Thanks for the comments. I liked Proreason’s suggestions and have amended our working definition:

      Liberalism is a secular ideology which is completely out of touch with reality and which has been blessed by the media and academics with an aura of quasi-religious sanctity. Its doctrine is Marxism. As such, Liberalism seeks: to promote class envy and a mythology of victimization; to enslave successful individuals and businesses, and to redistribute their wealth to moochers, freeloaders, and parasites; and to stifle and choke the human will to self-responsibility and the human drive to succeed and prosper. Its aims are power (both for its own sake and as a means to control and remold human beings), theft (loot), and destruction of Western Civilization (Christendom). Its method is to take control of a white, Christian country through abuse of the democratic process; then to give that country over to anti-white, anti-Christian migrants for colonization and occupation; to force the indigenous inhabitants to pay for their own dispossession through heavy taxation, affirmative action, indoctrination, endless crime, bloodshed, and humiliations, obliteration of their culture, and other means; to punish those who object to this treatment as “hate criminals,” and then to describe this whole monstrous process as “enrichment.”

      I find exercises like this can be helpful. For example, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between Marxist doctrine and Liberalism as revealed in the policies of the Democrat Party. It is also remarkable to see the Democrats moving ever closer to the communists in their political behavior and methods, i.e., methods such as importing dangerous jihadists to destabilize society, resettling populations, outlawing or silencing the political opposition, stealing elections through agents such as ACORN and voting intimidation by Black Panthers, widespread corruption, and use of fraud and deception.

    • wardmama4 says:

      Petronius – I like your second version – except you left out – (legal or illegal, it hardly seems to matter) and the corresponding desire for liberalism to destroy the borders/sovereignty in their insipid quest for a OneGlowballWorld of peace, justice and kumbayah song fests. . .

  5. MinnesotaRush says:

    Franken, and now this. Bad stuff happenin’ here in Minnesota as of late!

    • catie says:

      MNRush, how in the world did that idiot get elected?

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Plain and simple .. by cheating.

      Of course, he was aided by the Sec of State here (a dim liberal) and a gaggle of judges who can’t see anything other than blue.

      The minute Franken announced his challenge .. I had this sick awareness that he would very likely steal the election and be our next Senator.

      The shennanigans that went on are shameless. Boxes of ballots showing up in somebody’s trunk weeks after the election (that oddly enough were almost unanimously for Franken) that were allowed, etc, etc.

      Because of ALL the crap that went on in this past election, I have made a decision to resign as a (somewhat) longstanding election judge. The system is very contaminated and needs reform.

  6. Howard Roark says:

    For their own good, we wish the New York Times would teach its ‘reporters’ how to write.

    You are so right, Steve. When it comes to subversion, the NYT goes out of its way to portray such anti-American activities and participants in a romantic light, dressing up a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Only the effete, over-educated elitists from the finest universities in America can pull this off. Andrea Elliot here appears destined to win a ton of awards and praise while the country disintegrates into pockets of Mogadishu, Fallujah, and Jalalabad.

    When that happens these propaganda artists will produce the headlines that read, “After 8 years of Bush/Cheney, the country finally accepts its medicine”, and such.

  7. canary says:

    The NY Times is pretending this is new news. ‘They did not leave the United States for a lack of opportunity, their friends said; if anything, they seemed driven by unfulfilled ambition…’

    The muslims don’t want to take over America, they want to destroy it. Even the pilots who did 9/11 loved living in America. Obama’s mom didn’t have to live in Indonesia with the growing extremist muslims, she just came back to America for more free education and living expensives. Then went back for another 20 years. Started dressing like the extremist muslims that was growing. Obama wrote he visited in his teens 3 or 4 times (how can you forget?) and on his more recent 4 month visit in Bali he saw the places destroyed by the suicide bombers, but still after starting his foreign policy chapter with Indonesia, a country that is the perfect metaphor for all others, he ends the chapter on he can’t wait to go back with his girls. Hillary told them on her first visit as state, that Obama would be coming soon. So, figure another family site-seeing trip in a dangeous area. He is really milking the free sightseeing for his family.

  8. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    It sounds to me that the Twin Cities will turn into another Malmo, Sweden where the ‘immigrants’ (the too tolerant Swedes still can’t bring themselves to call them terrorists!) have taken over much of the city and terrorized the native inhabitants. The liberal says you shouldn’t profile anyone but sometimes you have to for certain people have a proven track record of extreme ideology and violence.

    • Right of the People says:

      Rage,

      We profile because it works. Although it is official policy here in DHS not to use profiling, we do because as I just stated, IT WORKS. To be strip searching 80 year old grannies and letting Mohammed and Achmed go because you don’t want to be accused of profiling is stupid beyond description. Everyone I work with uses the method to track down illegals, we’re just careful not to put anything down in writing that might indicate that we did. These F**kers from the Twin Cities are just ungrateful little bastards. We allow them to move here to escape the mess going on in their homeland and this is how they repay us? Makes me so mad I can’t see straight. The worst part is, theirs was legal immigration.

  9. MinnesotaRush says:

    12 Gauge .. you’re right on!

    Sadly, Minnesota has become over the past many years, the preferred destination of all kinds of ‘immigrants’ with their hands out and looking for a hide out. We do have inviting and generous ‘social programs’ that attract many of these types.

    Don’t know how much of it still goes on; but several states were pointing their ‘immigrants’ towards Minnesota – oftentimes with one way bus tickets and the advisement of how to tap into the abundant resources of our State.

    Us conservative Minnesota natives are outnumbered; but we’re hardened (and good fighters/survivors).

  10. mathews says:

    to the jihadi, good riddance

  11. canary says:

    they seem caught between inner-city America and the badlands of Africa, pining for Starbucks one day, extolling the virtues of camel’s milk and Islamic fundamentalism the next…

    This so describes Obama. Pining away for Kenya his entire life, his plans to go to Africa where he believed all black people wanted to move to their homeland only to take a trip there, and decide to take the easy way, but refuse to admit it.


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