American Teens Recruited for Somali Terrorism

A federal investigation has found that young men in a Minneapolis Somali-American community have been recruited to fight for al Shabab, an al Qaeda-linked group in Somalia that has been responsible for attacks on civilians and government buildings. Al Shabab, which means “The Youth,” is focused on overthrowing the U.S.-backed government in Somalia, in hopes of instituting strict Islamic law. Authorities are worried that men trained in Somalia may return to the United States to commit acts of terrorism. At least 20 young men are believed to have traveled from Minneapolis to Somalia since September 2007. The poverty-stricken Somali-American community leaves young people “more easily radicalized,” according to authorities. "It's always troubling when you find indications of a terrorist recruitment and training operation with structure, organization, and continuity, because those are the makings of an effective terrorist cell," says Kenneth Wainstein, who worked as the head of counterterrorism and homeland security in the Bush administration.