“American recruits principally come from Minnesota, there’s also a small band of recruits constantly coming from Maryland, and other states…”
All-American boys no doubt. via: African terror group Al Shabaab finds American recruits to aid jihad missions
There are at least 40 Americans – far more than previously believed – actively serving in the Islamist terror group Al Shabaab, including dozens of radicalized killers from Minnesota’s prominent Somali-American community, experts told Fox News.
Approximately 40 Americans are actively serving in the ranks of the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group responsible for dozens of attacks and hundreds of deaths in East Africa, multiple experts confirmed. The number is at least 10 times previous estimates, and underscores a grim radicalization threat that has operated largely in the shadow of ISIS’ recruiting.
“In Minnesota, you have a very large Somali-American community, so Al Shabaab is attracted to potential recruits there,” said David Ibsen, executive director of the U.S.-based Counter Extremism Project, a nonprofit co-founded by former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. “They have the ethnic, national ties, and they can feed on first-generation or immigrant individuals, feelings maybe of aloofness or being disaffected or marginalized, and can entice them to come back to their home country to have a sense of belonging. Quite frankly, have adventure.”
Americans in Al-Shabaab fill a variety of different positions, whether it’s recruiting, leadership, commandos, suicide bombers.”
– David Ibsen, Counter Extremism Project
American recruits are mostly in Somalia and Kenya, fighting for the U.S.-designated terror group behind the September 2013 attack at the Westgate Shopping Center in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, where 67 people were killed and more than 175 wounded. The group also is suspected of causing an explosion aboard a passenger jet over Somalia Tuesday which killed one and forced an emergency landing.
Omar Shafik Hammami, an Alabama-born radical who joined Al Shabaab in 2006 and adopted the nom de guerre Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, was one of the highest-profile Americans in the terrorist group before fellow fighters executed him in 2013 for what they considered his selfish pursuit of glory. Another American, Jehad Serwan Mostafa, or Anwar al-Amriki, is a commander in the terror group and is believed to specialize in the training of foreign recruits.