Muslims refuse to talk to FBI in Minnesota jihadi recruiting investigation

Posted: September 10, 2014 in Thoughts on God

A federal grand jury in St. Paul is investigating a group of Somali-Americans who were allegedly conspiring to join terrorists fighting in Syria, according to sources with direct knowledge of the probe.

The proceedings, which have been going on all summer, appear to be centered on trying to find out who is behind efforts to convince 20 to 30 people that they should leave Minnesota to fight in the Middle East. That question has stymied federal agents for the last year as they have struggled to build inroads and trust with the Muslim community in the Twin Cities in order to cut off a new pipeline of recruits.

Seven years ago, about two dozen young Somali men from Minnesota were recruited to fight in Somalia with another terrorist group, Al-Shabab. As many as nine were reported killed, and after a series of indictments and high-profile convictions, federal authorities and community leaders believed that the recruiting had stopped.

Instead, it has shifted to a new region.

In June, investigators stopped a Somali teen just before he boarded a plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, his final destination believed to be Syria.

But federal authorities say upward of a dozen Somali men and three women from Minnesota have fled the country to fight alongside or aid extremists in the Middle East. They estimate as many as 100 Americans have gone to Syria and Iraq to join insurgents whose brutality, including mass executions and beheadings of American journalists, has prompted the U.S. and other countries to consider airstrikes against the movement. The departures also have heightened fears that some may try to return to carry out attacks in the U.S.

In late August, a Minnesota man became the first American recruit confirmed to have died while fighting in the Syria-Iraq area with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces. A second Minnesota man is believed to have been killed in the same battle.

Earlier this month, a 19-year-old Somali woman from St. Paul, along with two other Minnesota women, left the state. A relative of the 19-year-old said she is now in Syria, reportedly aiding fighters there.

Early this summer, FBI agents and prosecutors questioned the father of a Somali teen about his son’s activities prior to the teen being arrested last spring at the airport. The youth was apprehended at the gate, as he prepared to board a plane. Agents reportedly made it clear to the family that they were less interested in the son’s involvement than in who recruited him.

The boy’s father had dropped his son off at school and hours later he was contacted by FBI agents, who told him they had picked his son up at the airport. Sometime between the school drop-off and the arrest, the boy had changed clothes and showed up at the airport with a suitcase, according to sources.

The investigation is moving slowly because many of those subpoenaed are refusing to talk and have been instructed to invoke their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, multiple sources said.

 

Article from the Creeping Sharia

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