The FBI believes that a recent Somali immigrant to Minneapolis returned to his homeland to carry out a terrorist suicide bombing in Northern Somalia. That’s not the extent of their concern, either. A number of Shirwa Ahmed’s associates in the Twin Cities have suddenly disappeared, creating worries that Ahmed may have run a terrorist cell in the Minneapolis area (via Jihad Watch):
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned that federal law enforcement sources believe that a Twin Cities man blew himself up in a suicide bombing in Northern Somalia last month.
The FBI and Homeland Security are investigating whether Shirwa Ahmed had developed a terrorist recruiting network in the area.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS learned that Ahmed came to the Twin Cities in 1996 and graduated from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen.
More than a dozen young men of Somali descent, mostly in their 20s, from the Minneapolis area have recently disappeared, U.S. law enforcement officials tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. All are thought to be associates of Ahmed. U.S. officials suspect most of the young men have departed for Somalia to fight in ongoing violence there or to train in terrorist camps. Family members of the young men are said to be distraught, trying to figure to out what happened to them, sources say.
No one knows whether the men have returned to Somalia for other attacks, or whether they have begun organizing for attacks here in the US. They simply can’t be found anywhere, and until they are, law enforcement and intelligence agents won’t know what Ahmed had in mind for his associates. ABC says that “senior officials” in counterterrorism efforts remain concerned and are monitoring the situation.
The Twin Cities has a large Somali immigrant community, the largest in the country, I believe. It’s getting more politically active, with some of its members insisting on significant changes in facilities and accommodations in airports, schools, taxis and transportation, retail, and factory employment. This will create even more suspicion over the intent of the Somali activists.
That may be unfair to the vast majority of law-abiding Somali immigrants, but it does call into question the wisdom of allowing any more Somalis to enter the US while it serves as a terrorist training ground. CIA director Michael Hayden has warned recently about al-Qaeda efforts to rebuild itself in the Horn of Africa region, including Somalia, and their apparent success in combining with local groups to bolster their funding and training. Did Ahmed’s associates go to join them? Or did they come here to learn how to disappear into the US?