Militants: Somalia Suicide Bomber Was an American
University of Minnesota student disappeared in 2008
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2011 5:01 AM CDT
Abdisalan Hussein Ali is believed to have been of two men who killed themselves in a suicide bomb attack on African Union soldiers in Mogadishu on Saturday.   (FBI)

(Newser) – Somali militant group al-Shabab says a 22-year-old suicide bomber who killed "scores" of African Union soldiers in an attack in Mogadishu on the weekend was an American who grew up in Minneapolis, reports the New York Times. The AU has confirmed that two suicide bombers attacked their base but the number of casualties has not been disclosed. Abdisalan Hussein Ali and his family left Somalia when he was just a few months old and settled in Minneapolis. The FBI believes the former pre-med student at the University of Minnesota returned to Somalia to join al-Shabab in 2008.

Ali is believed to be the third American to have killed himself in suicide bomb attacks for al-Shabab, and one of an estimated 30 Americans—mostly from Minneapolis' Somali community—who have joined the rebels. “Don’t just sit around, you know, and be, you know, a couch potato and just like, just chill all day,” said a voice purported to be Ali's in a message posted on a militant website yesterday. “Today jihad is what is most important. It’s not important that you become a doctor, or some sort of engineer."