Young Somalis in Minnesota are still signing up for terrorist group Al Shabab that carried out deadly Kenya mall attack - including at least four men in the last year Daily Mail, September 26, 2013
Leaders of the nation's largest Somali community say some of their young men are still being enticed to join the terror group that has claimed responsibility for the deadly mall attack in Kenya, despite a concentrated effort to shut off what authorities call a 'deadly pipeline' of men and money.
Six years have passed since Somali-American fighters began leaving Minnesota to become part of al-Shabab. Now the Somali community is dismayed over reports that a few of its own might have been involved in the violence at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
'One thing I know is the fear is growing,' said Abdirizak Bihi, whose nephew was among at least six men from Minnesota who have died in Somalia. More are presumed dead. Inconsolable: Ann Gakii (left) reacts at the Nairobi City Mortuary after identifying the body of her father, who was killed in the mall attack in Nairobi Anguish: The Kenyan Red Cross confirmed at least 62 people had been killed, but spokesman Abbas Gullet said it was still not known how many more may be dead inside the building
Anguish: The Kenyan Red Cross confirmed at least 62 people had been killed, but spokesman Abbas Gullet said it was still not known how many more may be dead inside the building Victim's relative: Zipporah Mureithi, 34, centre, is helped by relatives as she weeps after identifying the body of her father Paul, 56, at the city morgue in Nairobi, Kenya
Victim's relative: Zipporah Mureithi, 34, centre, is helped by relatives as she weeps after identifying the body of her father Paul, 56, at the city morgue in Nairobi, Kenya
Since 2007, at least 22 young men have left Minnesota to join al-Shabab, including two who did so last summer. Unconfirmed reports that two more left earlier this month have deepened concerns.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Tuesday that initial reports had suggested a British woman and two or three American citizens may have been involved in the attack. But neither Kenyan authorities nor the Minneapolis FBI office had any confirmation.
Minnesota's Somali community, concentrated in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, includes people who fled the long civil war in their east African homeland and children born in the U.S. Many are now American citizens.
The movement of Somalis who've come to be known as 'travelers' remains 'a priority investigation for the Minneapolis office,' FBI Special Agent Kyle Loven said.
At least 18 men and three women have been charged in the ongoing Minnesota investigation. Some went to Somalia while others were accused of aiding the effort mainly by raising money.