Somalia, which has wallowed since 1991 in the chaos which attends a lack of a government in any meaningful sense of the term, has become infamous for its role as a haven for pirates and terrorists. Historically, the remoteness of the African nation would have meant that its disordered state would have had little impact on the United States, but modern communications are allowing terrorists to reach into the American heartland and recruit enemies of the Republic in the midst of the North Star State.
AP quotes Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism specialist at Georgetown University: "Al-Shabab 10 years ago would be a two-bit, paramilitary group that no one would've cared about ... sitting in a basement somewhere stockpiling rocket-propelled grenades and bullets for AK-47s. ... Now, we see them reaching into the United States."
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) observed in 2006 that the state led the nation in the number of legal Somali immigrants: 1,445 came to
Minnesota in 2004 alone. (Ohio, which came in second in 2004, received 572 Somali.) MPR noted that “Minnesota quickly became a favored destination, thanks at least in part to a number of well-organized groups established to help immigrants settle, such as Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities.” However, this exercise of Christian charity is now being exploited by Moslem terrorists.
The AP article reports, “Like many terror groups, al-Shabab uses Internet videos to draw disenfranchised young men into its fold. Many feature typical militant scenes: men with covered faces firing automatic weapons, marching or practicing martial arts. Some show close-up footage of dead bodies and religious documents. But al-Shabab's propaganda sets it apart. ‘I would say they were among the most explicit, the most violent, and the most enthusiastic videos of any jihadi organization out there,’ said Evan Kohlmann, a terror consultant.”
Since 1990, Minnesota has witnessed an amazing growth in residents who were born in Africa; according to the Minneapolis Foundation, “in 1990, fewer than 5,000 Minnesota residents had been born in Africa. A decade later, that figure had increased to more than 34,000.” Although the 20 men who have been recruited as terrorists is a very small percentage of the overall Somali immigrant population, the fact that so many recipients of American generosity were willing to betray the trust of the nation which welcomed them is chilling.
Photo: AP Images