Just hours before President Barack Obama took the oath of office, the FBI had word from overseas of a possible terrorist attack. The threat was linked to a Somali hard-line jihadist group called al-Shabab, or The Youth.
The threat came at a time when the FBI was focused on what looked like a massive recruitment effort of young men from Somali communities in the U.S. As many as two dozen of them have disappeared from Minneapolis alone in the past year.
Federal agents are worried these young men are training in Somalia and could end up returning to the U.S. to launch a terrorist attack.
The most recent disappearances happened last November, on Election Day. That’s when 17-year-old Burhan Hassan and six of his friends seemed to vanish. As the rest of the Somali community in the Twin Cities’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood were watching the election returns, the boys slipped away, boarded a plane and headed to Africa.
It’s surreal to hear places you know well talked about on the national news. The Towers? Been there. Minnesota Dawah Institute? Been there too.
So now this is the question to ask – will these kids keep the fighting in Somalia, or will they bring it back to the US? The later appears to be the FBI’s fear.