MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 19 (UPI) — The FBI and members of the Minneapolis Somali community say they want to know what happened to several Somalis who have disappeared during the past few months.
Many people in the Twin Cities said they suspect the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center and its iman [sic] are influencing Somali youth to become jihadists in an Islamic holy war overseas, or possibly in the United States, a charge the mosque denies, USA Today reported Friday.
“They are very powerful, whoever got into his mind and got him to do this,” says the grandmother of one person who disappeared and eventually called her from Somalia. “We were forced out of our country one time. We don’t want to be forced out of here.”
Community activist Abdizirak Bihi says all of the youth who disappeared were raised by single mothers and spent a lot of time at the mosque.
“We are wanting the government and politicians to investigate who is responsible for sending our kids and we are requesting the American government to help us to get back our kids.” Bihi said.
FBI Special Agent E.K. Wilson of the Minneapolis office wouldn’t tell USA Today whether his agency is investigating the mosque, but said the agency knows that Muslims have been going overseas to fight.
“We’re aware that a number of Somali men have traveled from around the United States, including Minneapolis, to potentially fight overseas,” Wilson said.