How Minneapolis’ Somali community became the terrorist recruitment capital of the U.S.

Source: How Minneapolis’ Somali community became the terrorist recruitment capital of the US | Fox News

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – More men and boys from a Somali American community in Minneapolis have joined – or attempted to join – a foreign terrorist organization over the last 12 years than any other jurisdiction in the country.

FBI stats show 45 Somalis left to join the ranks of either the Somalia-based Islamic insurgency al-Shabab, or the Iraq- and Syria-based ISIS combined. And as of 2018, a dozen more had been arrested with the intention of leaving to support ISIS. Both numbers are far higher than those of alleged terrorist wannabes who left or attempted to leave the country from other areas in the country where Muslim refugees have been resettled.

In the case of the Somalis, it’s no longer just the men. Early last year, a female was apprehended by authorities on charges of supporting providing material support to Al Qaeda and arson.

So what has made the area such a hotbed for such activity? And what has been Rep. Ilhan Omar’s record in addressing the issue – either before she was elected, or since?

The answers matter because federal authorities say they remain “highly concerned” about the terrorist connection with the Minneapolis Somalis – even though al-Shabab is struggling against the Somali government, and the so-called ISIS “caliphate” has crumbled under a sustained U.S.-led military campaign.

“We are very conscious that there may still be fertile ground for that, and that is could re-start at any time,” one federal official told Fox News. “Based on historical experience, we had (an uptick) in 2007 and 2008 going for al-Shabab, then a lull. Then, as ISIS came back, we saw a whole bunch of people no longer headed for Somalia. They were headed for Iraq and Syria. That really caught us off-guard, we didn’t see that coming. It didn’t make sense to us. We understood why kids were going back to Somalia, but going to Syria was another we issue.”

With by far the largest Somali American population in the United States – estimates of up to 100,000 – the insular ethnic community in Minnesota offers a rich recruiting ground. Investigators told Fox News that early on, al-Shabab recruiting was almost exclusively word-of-mouth. One family connection to a contact in the terrorist group would be pulled in as a recruit, in a process that was repeated as the ranks of the al-Shabab grew.

But that chain seemingly changed when ISIS came on the scene around 2014. Personal connections still played a part, but it became much more about digesting online recruitment videos and turning to “alternative news sources,” which played into violence being committed against Muslims around the world.

“Recruitment takes place online as well as face-to-face radicalization, sometimes with promises of what appears to be legitimate opportunities. For al-Shabab, they focus mainly on the negative impact of US counterterrorism policies – like targeted assassinations and drone strikes that sometimes kill innocent civilians in Somalia – to attract recruits and sympathizers,” explained David Otto, director and counterterrorism program coordinator at Global Risk International. “They blame the failures of government on foreign intervention and link it to the reason why most Somalians have escaped home. The promise that al-Shabaab will restore a Sharia state and get rid of the government is somewhat attractive.”

The first tide of jihadists left in 2007, under the banner of joining al-Shabab after neighboring Ethiopia invaded Somalia a year earlier, citing its own need to face the direct threat encroaching their borders from within that unstable country.

Since then, some 23 men from the Twin Cities allegedly made it to the Horn of Africa, specifically to take up arms with al-Shabab. At least two became suicide bombers, and an estimated seven more are believed to have died on the battlefield.

“For over a decade, Islamist terror groups have been able to recruit from Minnesota. This is, in part, because Minnesota has a large Muslim population compared to other parts of the U.S,” said Robin Simcox, a terrorism and national security expert at The Heritage Foundation. “However, it is also because there have been small segments of the Somali community there that have struggled to integrate into the U.S. Al-Shabaab and ISIS have exploited this – upon religious, political cultural and identity issues to offer a compelling alternative to Western democracy.”

Josh Lipowsky, Senior Research Analyst at the Counter Extremism Project concurred the immigrant community in Minnesota has proven to be ripe for targeting in recent years by specifically playing into the card of being something of an outsider and that “society has shunned them.”

Local authorities contend it has been challenging for them to penetrate the Somali-American community in Minneapolis, who remain a unique immigrant population that hasn’t actively assimilated with the neighboring township. In the neighborhood of Cedar-Riverside, for example, it’s possible to go about day-to-day business without ever interacting with a non-Somali.

“You can buy your clothes at a Somalia mall. You can buy insurance at a Somalia insurance adjuster. You can buy real estate at a Somali real estate adjuster,” explained a U.S official. “I think that is pretty unique.”

Most of those alleged to have joined al-Shabab had completed high school, and were either in college, or working in an array of industries as maintenance, security guards and caregivers. Others worked at rental car companies, money-wiring service centers, and in fashion retail.

One such person, Mahmud Said Omar, reportedly left in 2008 and went on to facilitate the conduit for other Minnesota-based recruits and returned to the U.S. a few months later. He was sentenced in 2013 to 20 years behind bars.

But there are other underlying causes, officials said.

Jeanine Brudenell, who formerly served as the Somali liaison for the Minneapolis Police Department, told Fox News much of the extremism that has sparked in recent years – perhaps ironically – stemmed from the crackdown to dismantle local street gangs.

“In trying to lead youth away from joining gangs, many parents were taking their children to the mosques, which deal with everything, including mental health concerns,” she said. She said that opened the way for radicalization.

In one case, Zakaria Maruf, was known for some time as a member of the local Somali Hot Boyz gang. Yet he is reported to have become deeply religious after abandoning the street life,  and around 2008 is alleged to have fled abroad. He was killed in Somalia the following year.

Jeanine Brudenell, who formerly served as the Somali liaison for the Minneapolis Police Department, told Fox News much of the extremism that has sparked in recent years – perhaps ironically – stemmed from the crackdown to dismantle local street gangs.

“In trying to lead youth away from joining gangs, many parents were taking their children to the mosques, which deal with everything, including mental health concerns,” she said. She said that opened the way for radicalization.

In one case, Zakaria Maruf, was known for some time as a member of the local Somali Hot Boyz gang. Yet he is reported to have become deeply religious after abandoning the street life,  and around 2008 is alleged to have fled abroad. He was killed in Somalia the following year.

Her position has been slammed by those who say she hasn’t taken a tough enough stand.

“Rep. Omar is asking for our justice system to support known terrorists, this sets an extremely poor precedence and should not be allowed,” contended Rudolph Atallah, chief executive officer of White Mountain Research, and former Africa Counterterrorism in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. “She clearly has a bias and an agenda and does not understand what the United States truly stands for.”


More at the link above.

Ellison has presided over this jihadi pipeline and his successor will be no better.

Recall that long before Ilhan Omar was asking for leniency for Muslim terrorists in Minnesota, then Rep. Keith Ellison was trying to ensure the safe return of Somali jihadis to Minnesota.

It was not the first time Ilhan Omar sided with Muslim terrorists over Americans.

7 thoughts on “How Minneapolis’ Somali community became the terrorist recruitment capital of the U.S.

    • We have no choice. Sanctuary city minneapolis is determining our elections. Amy Klobuchar supports bothbOmar and Ellison she protects both of them from their crimes and reguses to have them investigated. MN democrats woth Ellison and Omar are trying to infiltrate all our big cities with somali to take over politically. My city is big and conservative. They are trying to place 2500 more in our city. We already have thousands and we had a teror attack at our mall. Somali women have committed daycare fraud for the 2nd time in,minneapolis and Klobuchar refuses to do anything about it.. Its all hush. Amy Klobuchar acts like she’s quiet and innocent. SHE IS NOT. it’s a Democrat disguise

  1. Open Letter to ALL Minnesota legislators:

    Denial is NOT a river in Egypt.. It is an extremely dangerous syndrome..

    None of you, by way of this short sighted and lazy thinking, can outrun the problems you have brought to Minnesota and right into the laps of the average Minnesotan.

    ..Just ask the FORMER MN State Rep. Phyllis Kahn.. After 40 years in that seat,AND AS A LIBERAL ICON in the Minnesota House of Representatives, she lost the pandering contest to Omar in the primary..

    With “SECONDARY MIGRATION” stampeding toward Minnesota NOW, due to other US States having the good sense to cut off – or – cut back WELFARE benefits to these not-so-upstanding people, the 2% of Minnesota’s population these people NOW represent here, and which exists today, will be 4% to 6% before you can say Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox..

    Add to this mix the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF STOLEN MINNESOTA TAXPAYER DOLLARS ANNUALLY FOR THE LAST 10 TO 12 YEARS, by this “CULTURE” of Barbary Pirates (of the 149 Minnesota social services being mismanaged by MN DHS) (likely $600 Million to $700 Million Dollars in the aggregate EVERY YEAR – AND STILL GOING ON, with no end in sight) – and COVERED UP by our past and present MN Governors – past and present MN AG’s – MN DHS personnel / including the so-called “Inspector General” (more like “inspector Gadget”) – MN County Attorney’s like Mike Freeman in Hennepin County – AND ALL OF YOU, having allowed all of this to be swept under “The Minnesota rug of Shame”…and what we have here is the beginning of the end for Minnesota, and your political careers as well.

    Add to all of this the insane 3rd world – FAILED TERRORIST STATE of Somalia style, crime and violence, which has been ALLOWED TO BE IMPORTED into Minnesota, and ignored daily now, by YOU, as well as far too many connected to MN Law Enforcement, the MN Courts, and The Public Authority, NOT concerned any longer for PUBLIC SAFETY nor “PUBLIC HEALTH”, and what we have here is a disaster..

    ..EG: My grandchildren were caught up in the “Valley Fair” ( Valley Scare), 100 Somali Gang riot this past September, which required 6 police departments, MN State Troopers, a police helicopter, and first responders, to stop the rioting and to EVACUATE 15,000 PARK ATTENDEES OVER THE COURSE OF AN HOUR AND A HALF.. ONE HUNDRED RIOTERS!!

    ..EG: ..The Mall of America is ALSO now UNSAFE as well today..a place I used to chaperone my children’s Minnehaha Academy classmates, to have FUN at “Camp Snoopy”, back then, when life was normal in Minnesota, and NOT a GROWING war zone.

    …The list of “No-Go-Zones” and dangerous places here grows daily now in Minnesota..

    What we now have here is the most amazing (not-so-fun)game of the high stakes “LIARS POKER” in the history of Minnesota, and it cannot end well.

    “Ostrich Syndrome” defined.. “When YOU (we) bury your heads in the sand 100% of the time, YOU (we) expose another part of your anatomy 100% of the time”.. Well? Now, YOU have put my life, and more importantly, the lives of my children and grandchildren at risk. ..There you (we) have it…

    So, go ahead and pander to the “community” of “Grifters”, Scammers, Con Artists, and the likes of “huckster”, and MN CAIR director, Jaylani Hussein (filed 360 lawsuits in Minnesota in 2017 alone – against MINNESOTA businesses and Minnesotans), rabid long-standing and unapologetic, Anti-Semite, Ilhan Omar (supporter of terrorists – and even “life insurance death benefits for terrorists”), and so on – and on – and on – and on it goes, in exchange for VOTES.

    See how long that fairy tale continues for each and every one of YOU, WHO CHOOSE TO IGNORE THIS REALITY facing ALL Minnesotans today. ..Just ask Phyllis Kahn..

    …Just look at Western Europe, the UK, and Australia, if you want to see our future, IF nothing is done about this challenge facing ALL of us now. Try Sweden perhaps…”the rape capital of Europe” today..

    A little clue for Minnesota: In the past 4 years alone, $65 Billion Dollars of personal wealth has exited Minnesota PERMANENTLY. Businesses like Electrolux have left as well, along with others also – and some have simply closed their doors.. Minnesota home owners, in more than a few towns in Minnesota (Willmar – Minneapolis – St Cloud – Waite Park – and more) CANNOT SELL THEIR HOMES now, because no one wants to live in a war zone, or in a dangerous Third World Minnesota pit of depravity…

    Since I have seen no groups of wide eyed Lutherans, Presbyterians, Catholics, LDS members, Jewish congregants, Methodists, and the like, engaging in all this barbaric behavior, mayhem, violence, and repeated general Anti-Civilization activity as WE know it, such as the Anti-American, Anti-Minnesotan, behavior at Valley Fair (“Valley Scare”) this past September, chaos at the Mall of America, Attacks OF WOMEN 3 days in a row in June of 2016 at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis (Threats of “Kidnap and Rape”), and elsewhere in Minnesota, I am forced to draw a logical and simple conclusion or two here. …It is not the average Minnesota, which is the problem here.

    Is it… Racist? Islamophobic? Xenophobic? Hater? Anti-Immigrant? NOPE! Just common sense and survival instincts and survival skills at work here..

    We are now referenced nationally as “The Grand Central Station” for “Radical Jihadist” (TERRORIST recruitment) for the entire U.S..

    And, I can make a fairly solid argument to support that FACT that Hundreds of Millions of STOLEN Minnesota Taxpayer Dollars STILL GOING ON – and being COVERED UP), have been TRACKED, and wire transferred (International Money Laundering / Organized Crime), and stuffed in suitcases as well, and ending up in the direct hands of Somali Terrorists IN SOMALIA, (Boko-Haram – al-Shabaab – ISIS), and the result is as follows:

    …On June 8th, 2018, 26 Year-old Special Forces Staff Sgt. Alexander Conrad was KIA fighting along side his 500 brothers (and sisters perhaps) in arms – out of Ft Bragg, NC – along side coalition forces, FIGHTING THE VERY SAME PEOPLE IN SOMALIA, and LIVING IN MINNESOTA today, AND supporting this terrorism with Minnesota taxpayer Dollars. In short, WE killed this brave trooper from Arizona. ..By way of our lazy thinking, and our procrastination, and per our collective Minnesota DENIAL of the truth here..

    In the end, this is not “Minnesota Nice” at all.

    It is Minnesota cowardice!

    It is Minnesota lazy thinking!

    It is Minnesota carelessness!

    It is Minnesota lawlessness!

    It is Minnesota stupid!

    …And it is Minnesota DANGEROUS!

  2. We can talk till we’re blue in the face. They are already here and spreading their hate for Americans. Congress and the Senate have already let and welcomed the Muslims here and sitting in our government seats. I’m discouraged and don’t see possitve actions taking place. I hope I’m wrong

If sharia keeps spreading, you will not only be silenced by the media and big technology, you will be jailed - or worse. Speak while you can!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.