In Minneapolis we've seen the Sharia cab controversy, the refusal of Muslims at Target to check out pork products, and now the disappearance of large numbers of Somalis who appear to be returning home to wage jihad. And more besides.
WASHINGTON - Minneapolis has become the focus of a wide-ranging FBI investigation into a terrorist group's recruitment of young immigrant men for service in Somalia's ethnic and religious warfare.
The group, Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaida offshoot, is suspected of being involved in the disappearance of as many as 20 young Somali-Americans who have vanished from their homes in the Twin Cities and turned up with the radical Islamist group in Somalia.
Federal counter-terrorism officials told a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday that the recruitment represents a potential security threat to the United States. If recruits were to be indoctrinated abroad and later returned to America, they could "provide Al-Qaida with trained extremists inside the United States," said Andrew Liepman, deputy director of intelligence in the National Counterterrorism Center of the Directorate of Intelligence.
"We have seen Al-Qaida franchise itself around the world," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who chairs the committee. But he also said there is no evidence of the radicalization of the Somali-American community generally.
I wonder if he would even know that evidence if he saw it. What is being preached in the mosques? What books are they reading there?
Philip Mudd, an assistant director of the FBI's National Security Branch, said that the mostly impressionable youths recruited in Minnesota and in other Somali communities around the U.S. seem more likely to become "cannon fodder" than high-level terrorist operatives. Mudd told the committee that some recruits are as young as 12 years old....
Whoever recruited the young men, Osman Ahmed believes the young people did not decide to go to Somalia on their own.
"These Somali-American kids were not troubled kids or in gangs," Osman Ahmed said. "They were the hope of the Somali-American community."
And what does that tell you?