Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, said Saturday that the 22-year-old man was recruited for jihad before a change of heart led him to return in recent months. Jamal wouldn’t confirm the man’s identity, saying that he and his family fear for their safety and are in hiding. Others identified him only as Kamal.
The disappearances of perhaps a dozen young men from the Twin Cities have traumatized and divided the local Somali community.
Farhan (Omar) Hurre, director of the Abubakar As-Saddique mosque in south Minneapolis, said Saturday that he knows of at least 10 people within the Somali community who received subpoenas in the past two months.
While FBI director Mueller never said where Shirwa Ahmed was influenced, much of the focus has been on Twin Cities mosques, and Abubakar specifically.
Now, as many as four of the men have returned from Somalia, and NPR’s Dina Temple Raston, who has been reporting on this story tells host Renee Montagne that sources say the men have been seen around the Somali community in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, but now it appears they have gone underground.
“It is unclear whether they are under protective custody or whether their parents are keeping them under wraps just to keep them safe,” Raston says. The FBI initially thought that the men who returned to the U.S. were dangerous, but after interviews with two of them, investigators no longer think that is the case.
A grand jury has been convened, indicating the FBI has some suspects in its crosshairs, but those proceedings are secret. So far, the grand jury has brought some indictments, but there could be more, as the grand jury is still working. Details of the indictments are sealed, as is the investigation. Similar investigations have also been convened in San Diego and Boston.
Ok, also, I somehow managed to miss this story – Probing the Somali-Minneapolis Terrorist Axis – um yeah, does that title weird anyone else out?