Published on Oct 3, 2013
StarTribune reported, the bombing of a Kenyan shopping mall by Al-Shabab is shining an unwelcome spotlight on Minnesota’s Somali community, which has been tied in the past to terrorism and Islamic extremism.
Home to the largest Somali community in the United States, the Twin Cities has been a recruiting ground for Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaida-linked extremist Islamic group that has taken responsibility for carrying out the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
Minnesota Somali leaders on Monday moved quickly to distance the community from the attacks, while awaiting word on the possibility that recruits from the state may once again be involved in violent terrorist action overseas. They refused to address reports that Somali-Americans were involved in the attack and said they had little information about who may have been involved.
Kyle Loven, a spokesman for the FBI in Minnesota, said the local office’s investigation into recruitment of Somali-Americans into Al-Shabab remains active. He added that the local office is monitoring the situation in Nairobi but is not able to confirm identities of anyone involved.
Brian Lambert writes MinnPost’s Daily Glean. He is a longtime Twin Cities journalist who also blogs at The Same Rowdy Crowd.