Terrorists Recruiting Somali-Americans in Heartland US

Counterterrorism agencies fear emergence of homegrown terror cells
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2009 4:57 AM CDT
Islamist insurgents undergo training in camps vacated by Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu, Somalia, earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – US counter-terrorism agencies are warning of a mounting terror threat as Somali extremists linked to al-Qaeda recruit Americans, the Washington Post reports. Agencies are probing the disappearance of a number of young Somali-Americans now believed to be in Somalia, and cite the case of Shirwa Ahmed, who lived in Minneapolis before becoming a suicide bomber in Somalia last October, as cause for concern.

"We believe a minority group are recruiting these kids and brainwashing them and financing and arranging the travel," said Ahmed's cousin. "Those who are recruiting kids here can harm us here." The FBI, fearing the emergence of homegrown terror cells, is working closely with Somali communities in several cities to try to gauge the scale of the threat.