Indictments in Minneapolis Somali terrorist ring case

posted at 10:55 am on November 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of dozens of young Somali men from Minneapolis took an expectedly ominous turn yesterday with the indictments of eight men on terrorism-related charges.  As suspected, the men arranged to send the young Somalis back to their home country to conduct terrorist attacks, after being “indoctrinated with anti-Ethiopian, anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Western beliefs.”  Initially, the FBI had hoped it was less of a jihadi mission than home-country politics:

Federal authorities unsealed terrorism-related charges against eight men Monday, accusing them of recruiting at least 20 young Somali Americans from Minnesota to join an extremist Islamist insurgency in Somalia.

The newly named suspects make up one of the largest alleged terrorist networks in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, analysts said. Assistant Attorney General David S. Kris said the government continues to investigate the alleged recruitment, and sources indicated that FBI and grand jury inquiries are active in San Diego, Boston and Columbus, Ohio, into the disappearance abroad of dozens of Muslim Americans since 2007.

The charges cap a year-long FBI investigation into the departures, most of them among men of Somali descent in their teens and 20s, to join al-Shabab, an extremist group with ties to al-Qaeda.

Al-Shabab opposes Somalia’s weak but internationally supported government and seeks instead a fundamentalist Islamic state under sharia law. It has attacked Ethiopian and African Union troops, targeted neighboring countries, pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and used al-Qaeda operatives to train American recruits, U.S. officials said. The State Department listed al-Shabab as a terrorist group last year.

As we have mentioned before, the local Somali community has worked closely with the FBI to find out what happened to their sons:

Since the departures, U.S. officials have reached out to the Somali American community, estimated at up to 200,000 foreign-born residents and their relatives. Officials are concerned that decades of political strife in Somalia and a recent influx of younger, poorer immigrants could make them vulnerable to radical appeals.

Officials praised the cooperation they have received in their investigation of al-Shabab.

“The sole focus of our efforts in this matter has been the criminal conduct of a small number of mainly Somali American individuals and not the broader Somali American community itself, which has consistently expressed deep concern about this pattern of recruitment activity in support of al-Shabab,” said Ralph S. Boelter, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office.

How deep?  Five months ago, the Twin Cities Somali community staged a protest march against the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which had attempted to dissuade them from cooperating with the FBI.  They wanted answers about whether they would ever see the missing young men again, and right now, that looks very doubtful.  Even if they’re still alive, the US will not be anxious to allow them to return after their indoctrination and training.

US Attorney called the revelations of al-Qaeda recruitment a “sad truth.”  No one wins in this case.


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the men arranged to send the young Somalis back to their home country to conduct terrorist attacks, after being “indoctrinated with anti-Ethiopian, anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Western beliefs.” Initially, the FBI had hoped it was less of a jihadi mission than home-country politics:

Jumping to conclusions!!!11!1!1

SouthernGent on November 24, 2009 at 10:58 AM

We probably shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that this is a case of terrorist actively either.
/sarc

Juno77 on November 24, 2009 at 11:00 AM

We may never know if religion was a factor.

— Chris Matthews

Loxodonta on November 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

So, when do they start blowing themselves up here?

boomer on November 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

As suspected, the men arranged to send the young Somalis back to their home country to conduct terrorist attacks, after being “indoctrinated with anti-Ethiopian, anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Western beliefs.”

Translation: Islam

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Hang ‘em high.

Ted Torgerson on November 24, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Can’t wait to see how Holder screws this one up.

a capella on November 24, 2009 at 11:03 AM

been wondering what was happening to this story

Doctor Zhivago on November 24, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Sooooo….. when is CAIR going to be investigated for obstruction of justice?

Didn’t think so.

James Moriarty on November 24, 2009 at 11:04 AM

US Attorney called the revelations of al-Qaeda recruitment a “sad truth.” No one wins in this case.

But hopefully we will learn something.

sammypants on November 24, 2009 at 11:05 AM

“indoctrinated with anti-Ethiopian, anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Western beliefs.”

They threw that one in just for variety.

amerpundit on November 24, 2009 at 11:05 AM

The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of dozens of young Somali men from Minneapolis took an expectedly ominous turn yesterday with the indictments of eight men on terrorism-related charges.

Ties to terrorism should be a crime punishable by death.

Didn’t this country once hang people for treason?

UltimateBob on November 24, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Five months ago, the Twin Cities Somali community staged a protest march against the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which had attempted to dissuade them from cooperating with the FBI.

From link:

About 50 people attended the rally, waving signs and hollering, “CAIR out! Doublespeak out!”

I’m glad some Muslims are speaking out against CAIR, but 50 is hardly a reassuring number.

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Call Home land security. Napolatiano can see if they oppose abortion. own bibles or guns. Otherwise it can’t be terrorism.

They seem be act like Muslims.

seven on November 24, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Did the indictments mention what I did to cause this?

mankai on November 24, 2009 at 11:08 AM

We may never know if religion was a factor.

— Chris Matthews

Loxodonta on November 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

“… but my leg is still tingling, so all is well with the world.”

UltimateBob on November 24, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Sounds to me like the FBI acted stupidly.

rjoco1 on November 24, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Nice job. Can you translate the health care bill for us too?

DanMan on November 24, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Sooooo….. when is CAIR going to be investigated for obstruction of justice?

Didn’t think so.

James Moriarty on November 24, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Send in Hannah…

mankai on November 24, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Ties to terrorism should be a crime punishable by death.

Didn’t this country once hang people for treason?

UltimateBob on November 24, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Yes. Then along came Change.

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Nice job. Can you translate the health care bill for us too?

DanMan 2009/11/24 at 11:08am

Submission.

Ed Morrissey on November 24, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Send in Hannah…

mankai on November 24, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Actually, CAIR has been infiltrated by a spy. Read Muslim Mafia by P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry. Gaubatz’s son pretended to be a Muslim convert and smuggled out a lot of incriminating documents.

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:12 AM

About 50 people attended the rally, waving signs and hollering, “CAIR out! Doublespeak out!”

I’m glad some Muslims are speaking out against CAIR, but 50 is hardly a reassuring number.

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:07 AM

That’s all eh? I just had a huge argument with a friend of mine this past weekend about the whole moderate muslim thing. They are a rare breed. He disagrees, but can’t answer why, if they do exist, why they aren’t speaking out and condemning the actions of their orthodox brothers.

4shoes on November 24, 2009 at 11:13 AM

The situation in Somalia is tragic. Last I saw there were over 300,000 refugees who fled the country because of the violence. They can’t get aid to them by ship because of piracy, they can’t by land because of hijackings. The insurgents have literally destroyed the capitol, and most of the arms Obama tried to send the “government” over there ended up in the hands of al-Shabab. I don’t know what can be done about that country.

scalleywag on November 24, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Nice job. Can you translate the health care bill for us too?

DanMan 2009/11/24 at 11:08am
Submission.

Ed Morrissey on November 24, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Funny. That’s what Islam means, too.

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:17 AM

So are we going to have a set of differing results due to self radicalizing muslims and those who are recruited in to radicalism? I hope not.

fourdeucer on November 24, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Somilia and that entire area of Africa is a disgusting hell hole. We used to pull liberty there abouts back in the 1980s and it was the worst place on earth that I have ever been to. Poverty and hunger are the only things they export. It was bad 25+ years ago, I can only imagine what it looks like now.

Johnnyreb on November 24, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Submission.

Ed Morrissey on November 24, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Islam

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:22 AM

With all the people who want to come to America, can someone tell me why we admitted “200,000 foreign-born residents and their relatives” from Somalia, a dirt poor Muslim country of no strategic value?

At least the Latin American immigrants don’t wage jihad on us once they get here.

cool breeze on November 24, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Disturb the Universe, 2009/11/24 at 11:17am

Yeah, I know. I was trying to be funny. Not sure I succeeded. ;-)

Ed Morrissey on November 24, 2009 at 11:23 AM

You racists!! Or Blasphemers!!

Islam is religion of peace and wherever it is dominant there is nothing but prosperity and liberty.

jukin on November 24, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Sorry about multiple postings. My comment was slow to show.

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Ed Morrissey on November 24, 2009 at 11:23 AM

There is no humor in Islam. :)

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:25 AM

I can donate Eight bullets to the cause….
ps. just bury them facing downward

hawkman on November 24, 2009 at 11:25 AM

On Bill Bennett’s show this morning there appeared to be a trend of connecting these disappearances to the heavy gang presents in the neighborhood these kids live in. I don’t quite understand the connection unless the parents encouraged these young men to stick with folks of their own faith in hopes of keeping them from the street gangs.

Cindy Munford on November 24, 2009 at 11:26 AM

US Attorney called the revelations of al-Qaeda recruitment a “sad truth.” No one wins in this case.

In other words: “evidence pulled us, kicking and screaming, to this conclusion”.

donh525 on November 24, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Cindy Munford on November 24, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Or perhaps they are recruiting violent kids from the gangs.

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Didn’t this country once hang people for treason? UltimateBob on November 24, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Yes. Armed robbery too.

Akzed on November 24, 2009 at 11:31 AM

However, prior to being “re-located” to Somolia, each recruit was instructed to vote for Al Franken several times.

KG in Sask on November 24, 2009 at 11:31 AM

You racists!! Or Blasphemers!!

Islam is religion of peace and wherever it is dominant there is nothing but prosperity and liberty.

jukin on November 24, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Islam is not a religion! We should quit designating it thus.

Contest: If Islams not a religion it’s………

donh525 on November 24, 2009 at 11:32 AM

multiculturalism is so awesome
funfunfun

blatantblue on November 24, 2009 at 11:32 AM

So, when do they start blowing themselves up here?

boomer on November 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Irony or bad pun?

Bruno Strozek on November 24, 2009 at 11:34 AM

US Attorney called the revelations of al-Qaeda recruitment a “sad truth.” No one wins in this case.

None of this is NEW 8 years after the worse attack on American Mainland soil. People are still behaving the same as before 9/11? If we can’t mobilize ourselves as a people TO A REAL THREAT, how are we going to survive?

Dr Evil on November 24, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Contest: If Islams not a religion it’s………
donh525 on November 24, 2009 at 11:32 AM

…a theistic bandit code. Works for deistic pirates too.

Akzed on November 24, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:30 AM

That’s a thought. I have become so cynical about the press that I automatically thought it was some way to make it the U.S.’s fault. I guess attempting to find kids that are drawn to violence is good practice when you are looking for terrorists.

Cindy Munford on November 24, 2009 at 11:37 AM

multiculturalism is so awesome
funfunfun

blatantblue on November 24, 2009 at 11:32 AM

“United we conquer, divided we fall”
There’s a government plan in there somewhere.

donh525 on November 24, 2009 at 11:37 AM

From Washington Post link:

The extent of al-Shabaab’s reach into the U.S. Somali community, estimated at up to 200,000 foreign-born residents and their relatives, will be the subject of a hearing today by the Senate homeland security committee, chaired by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.).

But only 50 came out to condemn CAIR.

Disturb the Universe on November 24, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Islam will lose its protections as a religion here eventually. The question is not when this will happen, but, how many Americans must be murdered by Muslims in their own homeland before it happens.

Akzed on November 24, 2009 at 11:37 AM

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
“For the traitor appears not a traitor – he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
– Marcus Tullius Cicero 42 B.C

blatantblue on November 24, 2009 at 11:39 AM

US Attorney called the revelations of al-Qaeda recruitment a “sad truth.” No one wins in this case.

If the US Attorney finally realizes these facts a starts profiling then America has a better chance of winning.

thomasaur on November 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Catholic Charities is the organization behind all of the Somali immigration. See refugeeresettlementwatch blog

DerKrieger on November 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Huh. BlatantBlue repented?

Akzed on November 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

ED if not already, get this out. This video editorial should
be on every available media outlet. Thanks
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/seton-motley/2009/11/24/savannah-georgia-cbs-affiliate-takes-political-correctness-task-air-ed

lilium on November 24, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Re:Somalia. This is why chaos is always the most dangerous condition we face. Chaos leads to rampant crime, which drives good people to grab onto anything that promises security. And that’s where the violent dictator (or imam) steps in to say, “I’m here to establish order.” People will always pick the predictable devil over the unpredictable devil.

RBMN on November 24, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Huh. BlatantBlue repented?

Akzed on November 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

im confuzzled

blatantblue on November 24, 2009 at 11:45 AM

hawkman on November 24, 2009 at 11:25 AM

I’ll throw in a package of pork sausage for each.

PappaMac on November 24, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Catholic Charities is the organization behind all of the Somali immigration. See refugeeresettlementwatch blog

DerKrieger on November 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Hope you are not implying Catholic Charities are somehow responsible for the radicalization of muslim extremists.

fourdeucer on November 24, 2009 at 11:48 AM

“Either gain English proficiency, fully assimilate, contribute positively, and be ever thankful for the incredible blessing it is to be here; or get the heck out”.

YES!

donh525 on November 24, 2009 at 11:49 AM

And who suffers the most from al-Shabab and their ilk? Somali women and children who are forced to leave their homes and live in squalid camps in the desert. It’s despicable what this group has done to their own country.

scalleywag on November 24, 2009 at 11:55 AM

New democrat mantra:
To be a terrorist is patriotic.

faol on November 24, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Huh. BlatantBlue repented?

Akzed on November 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

im confuzzled

blatantblue on November 24, 2009 at 11:45 AM

I think Akzed is confusing Bleeds Blue with BlatantBlue.

Too many shades of blue around here. Almost as many as there are bobs. ;-)

UltimateBob on November 24, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Catholic Charities is the organization behind all of the Somali immigration. See refugeeresettlementwatch blog

DerKrieger on November 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM

They may be technically correct but it isn’t really the whole truth. If a Catholic charity had tried to import Somali Muslims into the US in 1809 is it likely they would have succeeded?

Is there any major conservative figure who calls for a complete suspension on Muslim immigration? As opposed to assimilation, economic opporunity (freedom + money = no longer Muslim???) and all the rest of it.

aengus on November 24, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Why don’t we just indict all muslims in the US? it’s only a matter of time before they turn terrorist.

Seven Seas on November 24, 2009 at 2:11 PM

And this is why I fight tooth & nail to NEVER visit the Twin Cities.
Mall of America-such a target & stupid anyway.
No offense, Ed, but your state is full of nuts.
I have to put up with them every hunting season.
And they’re moving back here in ND to escape little Somalia that Mnpls has become.
Scary.

Badger40 on November 24, 2009 at 2:11 PM

fourdeucer on November 24, 2009 at 11:48 AM

aengus on November 24, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Note to self: Remember to turn off mind when it comes to yet another anti-American act by a certain global organization…

mankai on November 24, 2009 at 2:35 PM

“indoctrinated with anti-Ethiopian, anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Western beliefs.”

They threw that one in just for variety.amerpundit on November 24, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Check a map, Bro. Somalia surrounds Ethiopia like a hungry PacMan, and Ethiopia is famously Christian, while Somalia is a nightmare of Islam.

Maquis on November 24, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Note to self: Remember to turn off mind when it comes to yet another anti-American act by a certain global organization…

I haven’t turned off my mind at all. Your obsession has blinded you to what I was trying to say. My point was about the lack of conservative opposition to dangerous – especially Muslim – immigration.

Let’s accept for the purposes of this discussion that the Catholic Church is trying to destory America through Somali immigration (happy?). My question is: why is nobody doing anything to thwart this? And why would this succeed now where it would not have succeeded in the past?

Ed Morrissey lives in Minnesota. Notwithstanding his Catholicism, what is he doing as a well-known conservative blogger to campaign to halt Muslim immigration to America? The answer, of course, is nothing.

The reason is because almost everybody now believes it is wrong to discriminate against a group as a group. So conservatives instead embrace the false position of assimilation which takes the onus off of them to oppose immigration of dangerous groups of people.

The majority culture has to an extent abdicated its responsibility. To complain that organisation x or group y is subverting your border or immigration policy, you have to first admit that you are not wielding control over it yourself.

aengus on November 24, 2009 at 3:12 PM

mankai,

To take an example that may be closer to your heart: If Elizabethean England had been a society that showed excessive deference to its Catholic minority (the same kind the contemporary US shows to its Muslim minority) it is entirely possible that the Gunpowder Plot would have succeeded.

aengus on November 24, 2009 at 3:17 PM

So my point, in short, is that the nature of the host society is more important that the nature of the forces acting upon it.

aengus on November 24, 2009 at 3:32 PM

Gunpowder Plot would have succeeded.

aengus on November 24, 2009 at 3:17 PM

So Mary would have lived on?
Excellent.
But Lord Darnley as King would have been utter disaster.

Badger40 on November 24, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Screw these stinking monkey’s! Round them all up and put them in cages.

sonnyspats1 on November 24, 2009 at 7:09 PM