Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Missing-Somali Case Gives Recruitment Clues To FBI

When federal authorities unsealed terrorism-related charges Monday against eight Minnesota men, they provided the first detailed account of how some two dozen young Somali-Americans were persuaded to leave the U.S. and join an Islamist insurgency in Somalia. While the recruitment methods are textbook and familiar — such as questioning the men's Muslim faith and dedication to Somalia — the effectiveness, and breadth, of the campaign has surprised intelligence officials.

"This is a unique case in the United States," the special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis office, Ralph Boelter, told NPR. "Folks in the United States traveled to a foreign country to attend a terrorist camp, run by al-Shabaab in this case. Some actually engaged in hostilities on behalf of al-Shabaab. We haven't seen anything quite like this before."

If the allegations are true, the FBI in Minneapolis has been investigating one of the largest alleged terrorist networks in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The numbers tell the story — some two dozen young men were recruited and at least 14 allegedly helped funnel the young men to the front lines in Somalia. The FBI is also investigating disappearances of young Somalis in San Diego, Boston and Ohio.

According to the charging documents, the recruitment effort in Minneapolis began back in 2007, a short time after Ethiopian troops had invaded Somalia. A cooperating witness allegedly told the FBI that he and other men met at various locations around the Twin Cities to talk politics. The conversation invariably turned to the Ethiopian invasion. The young men wanted to know what they could do to help.



Search This Blog

Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP