Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Threat at Home

Ryan Mauro presents another well thought out assessment of a facet of Islamic infiltration into America. 

I agree with most of his essay, but while the majority of Somali immigrants may oppose extremism, their opposition only goes so far as to keep it out of the Somali community.  In the end, Muslims overwhelmingly protect other Muslims either through direct support, or by maintaining silence when it comes to dealing with infidels.  All Muslims are members of the Ummah, and the Ummah consists only of Muslims


The Threat at Home
by Ryan Mauro

As the United States turns its attention to security threats abroad, the disturbing trend of extremism in America’s Somali communities is a reminder that there are also real and present dangers at home.

A growing body of evidence suggests that Somali communities in the Unites States have become fertile ground for terrorist groups to recruit and implant operatives. On November 23, the federal government announced eight more indictments of Somali-Americans in Minnesota on charges of recruiting members of their community to join the al-Shabaab terrorist organization in Somalia. This brings to 14 the number of Somalis from Minnesota who have been indicted for helping the Al-Qaeda-linked group.

Of the eight indicted, only one has been arrested; the rest are currently outside of the United States. Four of those previously arrested have pled guilty and two have been released while they wait to be tried. The government believes that about 20 Somali-Americans have left the state to join al-Shabaab’s jihad in Somalia, at least three of whom have died since departing. One, Shirwa Ahmed, died when he became the first American suicide bomber.

Several of those indicted attended the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center in St. Paul, as did many of those who were recruited. The mosque released a statement in March saying that “Abubakar Center didn’t recruit, finance, or otherwise facilitate in any way, shape, or form the travel of those youth.”
Somali gangs are also becoming an issue in Minnesota. Shukri Adan, a former Somali community organizer, said in 2007 that there 400-500 members of his community were involved in gangs. The Associated Press reported in July that

“Despite anger and despair over the killings in Minnesota’s Somali community—the nation’s largest—police and prosecutors have struggled to catch and try the killers. Few witnesses have stepped forward because of a fear of reprisal and deep-rooted distrust of authority.”

The concern over extremist elements in the Somali community is not limited to Minnesota. The FBI is worried about the community of 6,000 living in the Washington D.C. area. The Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, which was attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers and the Fort Hood shooter, has many Somali attendees. The former imam of the mosque has acted as an Al-Qaeda recruiter and may be part of the group’s efforts to help al-Shabaab. The FBI’s investigation into disappearing Somalis who may have joined the terrorist group includes Seattle, Columbus, Cicinnati, Boston and San Diego.