Minneapolis Terror Recruiters Charged
Gang accused of wooing US-Somalis for 'fun, friendship'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2009 1:26 AM CST
Al-Shabaab fighters sit on a truck as they patrol in Mogadishu last month.   (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)
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(Newser) – Join a terror group and have fun, make friends and see the world. That's the pitch federal authorities say a Minnesota terror gang used to recruit fellow Somali-Americans to fight overseas, according to new charges against 8 men. A total of 14 people have now been targeted in the probe into the recruitment ring, which is blamed for the disappearance of at least 20 young men from the Minneapolis area over the last few years, the New York Times reports.

The young men, most of whom held US passports, traveled to Somalia where they trained with the al-Qaeda-linked extremist group al-Shabaab to launch attacks on the Somalian government and African Union troops, prosecutors say. At least 5 of the recruits have been killed, and authorities fear others might use their training to carry out attacks within the US.