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FBI Searching for Missing Somali Men from Minnesota
By Kane Farabaugh
27 March 2009
The midwestern U.S. state of Minnesota is home to an estimated 70,000 Somali immigrants. It is the largest Somali community outside of Africa, made up mostly of refugees who fled decades of war in their home country. But in recent months, a number of young Somali men have disappeared, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation believes some of them went to Somalia to fight with the Islamic extremist group, al-Shabab.
Although some U.S. media are reporting that a few of the Somalis have recently returned to Minnesota, the disappearances are a troubling development for law enforcement agencies and a shock to the community where many of the young men grew up.
In February, the FBI reported that 27-year-old Shirwa Ahmed, a naturalized American citizen from Minneapolis, was the prime suspect in an October suicide bombing in Somalia.
But his case may not be unique. FBI agent E.K. Wilson in Minneapolis is investigating the disappearance of more than a dozen other young men who left Minnesota late last year, around the same time Shirwa Ahmed was last seen alive in the U.S.
"If in fact he turned out to be involved in the suicide bombing, it would, to the best of our knowledge, be the first time that an American citizen was involved in a suicide bombing overseas," Wilson says.
The incident shocked the Somali community in Minneapolis and raised concerns about the activities of the other missing men. Abdirahman Mukhtar is the youth program manager at the Brian Coyle Center, situated in a poorer residential area that is home to thousands of Somalis. He went to school with Shirwa Ahmed.
"He graduated a year ahead of me, but I knew him as a very nice guy, a very quiet guy."
Mukhtar knew some of the other missing young men. He says none gave any hint of where they were going, or why.
"Some of the community members don't believe this really happened, actually," he says. "So if it happened, this is still something that is against our culture and our religion, which is Islam. This is something new to our community."
The FBI believes the missing men were recruited by the Somali insurgency group al-Shabab. The United States considers al-Shabab, which in Arabic means "The Youth," as a terrorist organization.
Many of the missing men now being investigated by the FBI regularly attended prayer services at the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center. Omar Hurre is the executive director of the center and knew some of them. He says one reason they may have returned to Somalia is that they were caught up in the outpouring of nationalistic fervor following Ethiopia's invasion of the country in 2006.
"It was kind of popular within the Somalis that many people were calling to liberate the country from the illegal occupation," Hurre says. "Some of the factions who were fighting over there came even over here to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and held some conferences, some rallies, and sometimes openly calling people to fight in Somalia."
Hurre emphasizes that regardless of the motive, if the actions of the young men prove to be true, they have violated the trust of the community and the teachings of Islam.
"Using suicide bombings is clearly anti-Islam, and it's not in any way allowed in the Islamic religion. It is also new to the Somali culture, because this is the first time we have heard that Somalis are using suicide bombings to achieve some political goals."
Agent E.K. Wilson says finding the other missing men is a top priority for the FBI.
"Any time you have a number of men, children in some cases, vanish, given the circumstances they are returning to and the potential for harm to them or others, it is a significant investigation."
A grand jury is also investigating the disappearances. Several members of the community, including those who worship at Abubakar As-Saddique, have been issued subpoenas to testify.
Why are we talking about Somalias unless they are Ethiopian-Somalians?
It was a grave mistake to introduce, a tertiary level Nomadic-barbarian and moreover-muslim to the first world, because he will suffer from future shock and gravitate and runs towards the open desert Oasis that he is most comfortable. You can’t take the fish out of the sea and expect him to live, unless ofcourse one puts him in a controlled environment, an aquarium.
Hopefully he was among the terorrist group who was crushed by the ethiopian air force. I know what these groups are up to and the U.S is finally understanding the darkness of this terorrist sleeping cells. Ethiopia had made it case to the U.S that Somalis living in Min. Portland, OR etc are the sleeping cells that the FBI and CIA most keep eyes on them at all time.
hej. Leave somalia alone. They are the people where GOD the entire world abanded them. The western,Asia and arab giant fishing boat are daily looting the somalian fishing and damping their toxic waste in somalia water though the world speak of how the somalia pirates attacs their ships. The somalian are simply protecting their terrioterial water from illegal fishing and the west call them PIRAT. Who is the real PIRAT? Who is stealing the somlaian fishing and damping their toxic there.? No one want to rise the TRUE and nothing but the TRUE.
Well done SOMALIAN COAST GUARDS. You defend your waters from REAL PIRATS.
The world is BLINDED by western arabs MEDIA.
yari yari yara just lack them up. all the same.wherever they got a chance they all think the same thing.it is NOT new for us we are liveing the same house for centuries.
woyane cadre .. do you still talk.. and talk.. u dead animals.. losin on dailly bases. at the sametime you talk something you dont have a clue..
when you meet nomad somali to usa or somewhere else you begg brother am from east afrika help me.. get no money. and you insult in this nazret forum.
shame on you woyane.
shame on you melez
you shame to mankind.
woyane wait o.n.l.f. will teach you how to respect soon. ppl.
Minnesota is also become the breading ground to the Southern Oromo different Clans (100% Muslims and acting in the name of Oromo with name OLF that is already became a Muslim terrorist organization.)
Does FBI realise this?
unless you are a clueless DergISAPA, then you should know that these bearded mullahs have a design for Greater Somalia that will include whole of Ogaden and most parts of Oromia and some parts of SPNNR.
Whatever Islamic terrorists do affects Ethiopia since we live close to them and probably, they live among us.
c´moi senait kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk well said baro thx u..
The uncivilized stone age creatures who hail from, Ethiopia, the most backward political entity of all of Africa dare not insult Somalis and Somalia. It would helping you if you actually understand that brushing your teeth and taking shower is part and parcel of primary health care for yourselves and for others. And that your depressingly smelly lives is in fact a health hazard.
Also ask your compatriots who maid in Somalia and Djibouti what the Somalis are like. They tell you it is far better staying in there rather than come back and re-live in those stinking caves-like dwellings of yours that are not even fit for animals to live.
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