Two Muslim Americans are under arrest and 12 other individuals, including five Islamic U.S. citizens, have been charged with acts of terrorism that include providing money, personnel, and other material support to the Somali-based terrorist organization al Shabaab.
Results of an FBI-led global investigation were announced this week at Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, where indictments were unsealed charging individuals in Minnesota, Alabama, and California. Twelve of the 14 under indictment are fugitives believed to be in Somalia, demonstrating the weakness of treating Jihad as if it was a law enforcement issue and not war.
These indictments and arrests shed further light on a deadly pipeline that has routed funding and Islamic Jihadists to al Shabaab from the Muslim community in cities across America.
The US government designated Somalia-based al Shabaab a terrorist organization in 2008. The group has ties to al Qaeda and has made numerous public statements threatening to attack the United States and its citizens.
Jihadist terrorist organizations such as al Shabaab continue to recruit U.S. citizens from Muslim communities in the U.S. and elsewhere to train and wage Jihad and to provide support for their Jihadist terrorism.
The two Jihadists arrested this week—females who were naturalized U.S. citizens and residents of Minnesota—have been charged with raising money to support al Shabaab through door-to-door solicitations and teleconferences in Somali Muslim communities in Minnesota and other locations in the U.S. and Canada. The Justice Department claims that in some cases, funds were raised under the false pretense that they would be used to help the poor, but it is just as likely that the fundraisers were simply asking for zakat donations, which can go to Islamic charities, the poor and any of 8 approved destinations under Shariah law. One of those approved destinations is to those “fighting in the way of allah.” We can only hope that the Justice Department has a better understanding of zakat than their statement indicates.
The other indicted Jihadists—mostly young men—were charged with leaving the U.S. to join al Shabaab in Somalia.
Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Minneapolis, Mobile, and San Diego played a particularly significant role in this investigation, illustrating how widespread and far-reaching the threat of Jihad in America has become.
In Minnesota alone, between September 2007 and October 2009, at least 20 Muslim men traveled from Minneapolis to Somalia for al Shabaab terrorist training. Many of them ultimately fought for the Muslim terrorist group against Ethiopian forces, African Union troops, and the weak, transitional government there. At least one man from Minneapolis went on to become the first known U.S. citizen suicide bomber.
These individuals are wanted for providing material support to the Somalia-based Islamic Jihadist terrorist organization al-Shabaab.
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